New Delhi: As Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid homage to the 10 paramilitary personnel who died in a plane crash near the Delhi airport on Tuesday, some of their family members briefly surrounded him.
“Sir, why does the soldier’s family have to cry every time?” said a weeping relative, almost incoherent in her grief, as she questioned the home minister at the Safdarjung Airport, where the tribute was held.
Nine BSF and one Sashastra Seema Bal personnel were killed when the B 200 Super King hit a tree, crashed through the boundary wall of the airport and landed in a sewage treatment plant, bursting into flames.
On Tuesday morning, the 22-year-old Beechcraft crashed moments after it took off for Ranchi at around 9.45 am. Reports suggest that the pilot had noticed a technical snag after starting the engine but was told the continue with the flight.
The pilot, Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt of the BSF, diverted the aircraft from populated areas to prevent any civilian deaths, say sources.
His co-pilot, Captain Rajesh Shivrain was the only officer of the border guarding force, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) working in the Border Security Force air wing.
Others on the plane were Deputy Commandant D Kumar, Inspectors Raghvendra Kumar Yadav and SN Sharma, Sub-Inspectors Ravindra Kumar, Surendra Singh, CL Sharma, Assistant Sub-Inspector DP Chauhan and Constable KR Rawat.
“An amount of Rs. 15 lakh will be given from the BSF internal fund in addition to Rs. 10 lakh, which is the ex-gratia from the government,” DK Pathak, Director General, BSF said on Tuesday.