Two PAF jets collide mid-air; pilots dead
NOWSHERA: Two aircraft of Pakistan Air Force collided mid-air on Thursday killing the four pilots, officials said.
Eight civilians were injured when the wreckage of planes fell on houses in Rashakai area of Nowshera district.
Sources said that two Mushshak planes were on routine training mission when they collided shortly after 10am and crashed into two houses near the PAF Academy Risalpur. Squadron Leaders Masood, Zegham Ali, Muazzam and Flight Lieutenant Mustafa Muazzam were killed.
The wreckage of one aircraft fell on the house of Niaz Muhammad, injuring four people. They were taken to Abdul Wali Khan Medical Complex, Mardan in serious condition.
The walls and roofs of the houses were damaged and wreckage of the aircraft lay strewn over a large area.
Debris of the other plane fell on the house of one Afsar Ali, injuring a woman and three children. They were shifted to DHQ Hospital Nowshera. The boundary wall and a room of the house were damaged.
Namaz-i-Janaza of the pilots was offered at the PAF Academy.
Confirming the incident, a PAF spokesman said a board of inquiry had been ordered by the air headquarters to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The PAF Academy Risalpur suspended training flights for 24 hours in honour of the pilots.
AFP adds: It was the sixth PAF plane crash in the past seven months and the second in a week, raising concern over the safety of its largely Chinese and locally-made fleet.
“Two Pakistan Air Force trainer aircraft collided mid-air. Four pilots were killed, two were trainee pilots and two were instructors,” district police officer Mohammad Hussain said.