Air ambulance crash-lands on Delhi outskirts, passengers unhurt

NEW DELHI,SHIV SUNNY:An air ambulance arriving from Patna crash-landed in an agricultural field in Delhi’s Najafgarh area after losing both its engines.

Photo: Shiv Sunny

The aircraft was transporting a patient to Delhi and all the seven passengers, including the crew, had a miraculous escape.

According to sources in the Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC), the pilot of the aircraft requested for an emergency landing after one of the engines stopped working.

The aircraft was being directed by the ATC to land at the runway 10 of the Delhi airport, but within minutes, the second engine too shut down, forcing the pilot to crash-land in the field.

The pilot displayed great presence of mind to steer the aircraft away from the residential areas to the empty stretch of agricultural land in Kair village.

A PCR van was quick to rush the patient, Virendra Rai, to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, where he was scheduled to undergo a surgery for brain haemorrhage.

His brother, Bhagwan Rai, suffered head injuries in the crash-landing, but was discharged after treatment at a local government hospital.

U-turn in air

Eyewitnesses said that they saw the air ambulance come down around 2.35 p.m. after it took a U-turn from the populated areas of Kair village to choose the empty fields for the landing.

“As soon as the aircraft touched the ground, we saw its wheels come off. Before we could react, it skid several hundred metres and came to a stop,” said Sandeep Dahiya, a resident of the neighbouring village Sirhaul, located in Haryana.

Less than 100 metres ahead of the spot where the plane first touched the ground was a three-feet high cement road blocking the aircraft’s path. Fortunately, after the first skid, the plane bounced off the ground just before the road, landed again several metres beyond it and then skid some more distance before coming to a final halt.

Steered off colony

The plane escaped crashing into another residential colony by less than 200 metres.

Its residents rushed to the aid of the survivors, only to find the pilots emerging from the plane.

The injured man was provided first aid by the villagers who also ensured that the survivors were carried away to safety, afraid that the aircraft may go up in flames.

The patient’s daughter, Juhi, was the one to make a police call.

A PCR arrived within 10 minutes to shift her father to Medanta Hospital. Fire-fighters, police and other agencies too soon arrived to take stock of the situation, even as hundreds of locals flocked from the nearby villages to catch a glimpse of the aircraft.