An Indian Air Force LCA Tejas fighter aircraft dropped a 1,200-litre fuel tank over empty farmland near Coimbatore while flying a routine "sortie" on Tuesday, July 2. However, the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft managed to land safely at Sulur Air Force Station, around 30 kilometres from Coimbatore city.
Fire was spotted from where the fuel tank fell to the ground, causing a three-foot deep crater. News agency PTI quoted Defence sources in a report and said "all safe", indicating that there were no injuries.
Agriculture labourers in Irugur village were shocked to see the 1200-litre petrol tank fall from the sky.
Officials of the IAF and the police are present at the spot.
The Air Force has ordered an investigation into the incident. The reason behind the incident is yet to be ascertained.
Manufactured by Bengaluru-headquartered Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Tejas is the first advanced fly-by-wire fighter aircraft designed and developed in India. It is equipped with a satellite-aided Inertial Navigation System.
Earlier, an IAF Jaguar aircraft was forced to jettison fuel tanks and small-sized practice bombs over part of a residential neighbourhood in Ambala in Haryana, after one of its engines failed following a bird hit.