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Naval aircraft crashes in Hyderabad air show; pilots dead

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The Indian Navy aerobatic team, Sagar Pawan (See Breeze) A File Photo.

HYDERABAD (PTI): An aircraft of a naval aerobatic team crashed today during an air show here and police said the pilot was killed and four others were injured on the ground.

The Kiran MK-II plane, which was part of the 'sagar Pawan' aerobatic team participating in a display at the India Aviation show, crashed into a building, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan said.

Navy chief Nirmal Verma, who was in Bhopal, said the pilots had not ejected. "So the possibility is either timewise there was a problem or they (the pilots) were making all efforts to ensure that damage is minimised to any civil area.

They are no more," he said.

"The inputs that I have got is that about seven people are injured," he said, adding, "I have to wait for more information. It is premature for me to say what could have caused the crash at this stage."

The pilots were Commander S K Maurya and Lt. Commander Rahul Nair, a navy spokesman said in New Delhi. Nair belongs to Delhi.

The plane, which was part of a formation of four aircraft, crashed into a three-storeyed building at Bowenpally area near Begumpet airport where the airshow was on.

Black smoke billowed from the building after the crash and firemen were seen at work. Fuel could also be seen dripping from the mangled remains of the aircraft.

Police, which reached the crash site, kept at bay a large crowd of onlookers which had gathered there and put a cordon around the area. One vehicle parked outside the building into which the plane went down was also damaged.

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