Three women died on Monday after a MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed into aa home near Suratgarh in Rajasthan during a training sortie.

The pilot detected an onboard emergency soon after the aircraft went airborne, the Indian Air Force said in a statement. “...He attempted to recover the aircraft as per existing procedures. Having failed to do so, he initiated an ejection, sustaining minor injuries in the process,” the statement said.

The pilot was recovered 25 kilometres away from the Suratgarh Air Force base station.

The aircraft crashed into a house owned by a person identified as Ratti Ram, killing his wife Basho Kaur and two other women identified as Leela Devi and Banto Kaur, Hanumangarh Superintendent of Police Sudheer Chaudhary told PTI.

The Indian Air Force has ordered a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The Russian-made fighter aircraft were first inducted into the Indian Air Force in the mid-1960s. Since then there have been 400 accidents involving the jet which claimed the lives of around 200 pilots.

In July 2022, two pilots of the Indian Air Force had died after the fighter aircraft had crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district. A year before that another pilot had died in May 2021 after MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in Punjab.