NEW DELHI: Two pilots were killed after their Mirage fighter aircraft crashed during takeoff at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airport in Bangalore on Friday.

The incident happened near Yamalur, off old Airport Road, when the Mirage 2000 trainer fighter aircraft of HAL, flown by two pilots, crashed.

The aircraft was being flown by two test pilots of the Indian Air Force. Squadron Leader Negi and Squadron Leader Abrol were taking the plane for an acceptance test flight after it had been upgraded by the HAL there.

A rescue operation was launched by the authorities. One of the two pilots died after managing to eject from the plane but he fell on the debris itself. The other pilot was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries, senior IAF sources told ANI.

The reason for the crash is yet to be ascertained, but sources said prima facie it appeared that the plane had some technical defects. A detailed court of inquiry would find out the exact cause behind the crash.

The HAL is carrying out upgrade of the Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft fleet of the Indian Air Force under a deal signed with France. The French firm Dassault Aviation carried out upgrades on the first two of the 49 planes while the remaining are being done by HAL.

Slew of Crashes 

A MiG-27 crashed near Jodhpur's Banad area on September 4, 2018.

On June 5, 2018, Air Commodore Sanjay Chauhan passed away after his Jaguar fighter plane went down in the Mundra taluk of the Kutch region in northwestern Gujarat. This was the second alarming incident in the month of June 2018 with an Indian Air Force Jaguar.

A Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet has crashed near Nasik in Maharashtra on June 27, 2018.

On June 8, 2018, Indian Air Force's 'Jaguar' developed a snag while landing and had a minor accident. The pilot was on a routine training mission from the Jamnagar Air Force base

Before these two successive Jaguar crashes, an IAF Cheetah helicopter crash landed at Natha Top in Jammu and Kashmir on May 23. The helicopter, too, was on a routine sortie and a court of inquiry was ordered.

On March 20 this year, an Advanced Hawk Jet (AJT) trainer, crashed on the Subarnarekha River bed along Jharkhand and Odisha's border.