Indian Air Force pilot dies in jet fighter crash

An Indian Air Force pilot was killed on Wednesday when his Soviet-era jet fighter crashed on a routine sortie near the border with Pakistan, an official said.

The MiG-21 ploughed into the ground near an uninhabited area shortly after taking off in Punjab state.

An Air Force official said the pilot suffered fatal injuries.

“An investigation is under way to find out the cause of the crash,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

More than 30 fighters have crashed in India since 2012, with most accidents blamed on ageing jets.

Last month a pilot died after crashing his Jaguar fighter plane near the border with Pakistan in the state of Gujarat.

More than 170 air force pilots have died in accidents in the past three decades, mostly involving MiGs bought from the Soviet Union from the 1960s until the 1980s. (AFP)