MUMBAI: A ghastly sight of a burning body greeted local residents as they ran out of their houses after a chartered plane crashed + in suburban Ghatkopar on Thursday afternoon.
“The explosions following the crash and flames leaping in the air were so huge that initially we could not understand what had happened,” said Prakash S Giri, who lives opposite the construction site where the 12-seater plane crashed.
“The toll could have been higher had the plane hit any of the high-rises around the spot,” he said.
“The pilot did not let this happen. I think the pilot purposefully manoeuvred the plane to this site to avoid casualties,” he said.
“There was a very loud explosion. Smoke and flames engulfed the area in the 50-metre radius, leaving us clueless as to what had happened,” Giri said.
“We were having lunch when we heard the first explosion. We immediately rushed out … saw a burning body near the crash spot. We tried to save the man but the flames had engulfed him completely so we found ourselves helpless,” he said, recounting the horror.
Another local resident said after the crash, there were four-five more explosions.
A man living on the third floor of a nearby building jumped out from the balcony after the crash, fearing that his building was going to collapse, one of the eye-witnesses said.But the incident could not be confirmed independently.
According to police, five people were killed in the crash. The five included the two pilots, two aircraft maintenance engineers on board and a pedestrian.
The plane, which crashed in the Jagruti Nagar locality of the crowded Ghatkopar shortly after 1pm, was a King Air C90 12-seater aircraft. It had taken off from the Juhu airstrip on a test flight.