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6 Killed in Indian Air Force Jet Crash - 2002-05-03

An Indian Air Force MIG-21 combat jet has crashed into a building in Northern India, killing at least six people and injuring more than 20 others. Authorities have said the death toll could rise as many of the injured are in critical condition.

The Indian Air Force MIG-21 crashed into a bank building in the northwest city of Jullundur about 75-kilometers south of Amritsar and 250-kilometers north of New Delhi. The building housing several other shops and residences was reported completely destroyed.

Witnesses say flames could be seen coming from the jet's engine seconds before the crash. They say the pilot and co-pilot ejected safely.

The pilot had just taken off from the nearby Adghampur air base on a training flight.

India's Defense Ministry on Friday grounded all training versions of the MIG-21 until an investigation is completed into what caused the crash.

During the past six years India's Air Force, the world's fourth largest, has lost more than 100 MIG-21's and about 50 pilots in crashes blamed pilot error and poor maintenance.