Small plane crashes into residence near Delhi, at least 10 dead

08:47, May 26, 2011      

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Ten people, including all seven on board and three on the ground, died when a small chartered civil aircraft crashed into a residential area in Delhi's suburban town of Faridabad on Wednesday night, said local police on Thursday.

Faridabad Police Commissioner P.K. Aggarwal said another person was confirmed injured and the toll could go up, reported local news agency IANS.

The Pilatus PC-12 single-engined turbo-prop aircraft was flying to the Indian capital from Patna, rushing a seriously-ill patient for specialized medical treatment, when the crash occurred at 10: 50 p.m. local time Wednesday, five minutes after it lost contact with the Air Traffic Control at the Delhi airport, aviation officials said.

The plane crashed into two houses in a thickly populated area of Faridabad, and 20 fire engines rushed to the spot for rescue operations.

Local TV news channels showed pictures of flames billowing from the houses and residents of the area rushing to clear the debris. Mangled remains of the aircraft were littered all over the area.

Commenting on the possible causes of the accident, an air traffic control official said: "Apart from the difficulty of operating a single-engined aircraft, doing so in heavy wind conditions can cause a disaster. In heavy wind conditions, the backdraft from the wind hitting the tail can make the aircraft unstable and cause it to nosedive."

The aircraft was manufactured in 2005, according to initial investigation.

Source: Xinhua
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