Baripada: A fighter trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district today.

Though the pilot of the plane safely ejected before the Hawk aircraft crashed, he sustained minor injuries in the mishap. The pilot was then rescued by locals who then rushed him to Bahadaguda hospital in Jharkhand.

Sources said that the plane crashed at Subarnarekha River’s Topa Ghat area of Mahultangiri village near Jharpokharia in Mayurbhanj district.

It is suspected that the aircraft took off from Kalaikunda Air Force Station from neighbouring West Bengal and some locals at Rairangpur in the district claimed to have spotted smoke coming out of the plane.

“Whether it was some technical or pilot error it is too premature to guess at this point in time. From the wreckage it appears that it was a trainer jet and only after a detailed investigation the exact reason can be ascertained,” said former pilot Atanu Guru.

Earlier in 2015, a Hawk A-3492 had also crashed in a paddy field in Mayurbhanj district.