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4 injured pilots rescued

BAF aircraft crash over Cox`s Bazar

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By Special Correspondent
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Four pilots miracally survived during a training session when two fighter planes of Bangladesh Air Force crashed in the middle of the sky over Moheshkhali upazila in Cox's Bazar district on Wednesday evening.
Official sources said the planes crashed at about 6:50pm. Earlier, both the training planes disappeared off the RADAR at 6:15pm for a long time after those entered the Cox's Bazar airspace.
Both the planes took off from Air Force base Zaharul Haque in Chittagong and they were in touch with Cox's Bazar Airport tower. But suddenly, the connection with the tower was also cut off.  
The aircrafts were Yak-130 model, a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer originally developed in Russia. There were a pilot and a co-pilot in each plane, the officials said.
"Two planes were damaged following the crash. The pilots and co-pilots, however, were rescued alive. We're collecting information for what reason the accident took place," Director of Inter-Service Public Relations Lt Colonel Rashidul Hasan told The New Nation last night.
"The four pilots received slight injuries. There are now undergoing treatment," he added.
A team comprising the members of Air Force, Fire Service and Civil Defence, police and local volunteers was conducting massive search and rescue operation till the time of filing this report at 9:00 pm.    
Cox's Bazar police said the planes made a head-on-collision at about 6:45pm. Moments after the crash, both the planes caught fire. The broken parts of the aircrafts fell at Palpara and Jailapara hilly area in Moheshkhali island.
The pilots ejected out of the plane and landed safely using parachutes, the police said.
"I've come to the spot after the accident. Here, I saw two parts of an aircraft blazing in two separate places," Prodip Kumar Das, Officer-in-Charge of Maheshkhali Police Station, said over telephone.
Sources said hundreds of local people rushed to the spot hearing big bang in the sky and seeing blazing parts of the planes. The locals along with an unit of FSCD at first tried to douse the fire. Getting information, another team from Cox's Bazar rushed to the spot boarding a speeding boat.
Quoting statement of Cox's Bazar Airport Manager Sadhon Kumar Mohanta, our Cox's Bazar Correspondent reported, one of the blazing parts fell beside the semi pakka house of Siraj Mia at Putibila area of Yar Mohammad Para under ward no:2 in Moheshkhali Pourshava.
Another fell on a betel leaf plantation land at Maizpara village beside Lomba Ghona Bazar under Chhoto Moheshkhali Union.  

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