Sana’a, 10 Rabi’ul Akhir 1434/ 20 February 2013 (MINA) – Yemeni rescue workers and security forces gather at the site where a military aircraft crashed in a residential neighborhood in Sana’a, according to Press TV report as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday (19/2).
       At least 11 people have been killed after a Yemeni military aircraft crashed in a residential district in the capital, Sana’a, security sources said.
       Many people were also injured after the fighter plane came down in the al-Qadissiya district, near Change Square, on Tuesday.
       Two houses were completely destroyed in the crash, which killed the pilot and ten civilians on the ground. Medical sources say women and children are among those killed.
        Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Mawry told Associated Press that the plane crashed during a training exercise.
        A military source identified the plane as a Russian-made Sukhoi SU-22 attack aircraft, but was unable to say what caused the crash. The number of casualties is expected to rise since many people are still trapped under the rubble.
       Previously, In November 2012, a Yemeni military transport plane crashed near Sana’a airport as it tried to make an emergency landing after one of its engines failed, killing all 10 people aboard.
       At the moment, A Yemeni military transport plane crashed near Sana’a airport on Wednesday (21/11/12), killing all ten people onboard, according to an Al Arabiya correspondent, whose reports were later confirmed by an airport official.
       In October last year, a Yemeni military plane crash-landed at an air base in the south of the country killing nine passengers, including eight Syrian engineers.
        According to Yemen Times, At the moment, The military plane, identified by the Ministry of Transportation as a Russian-made Antonov, was undergoing a military training when it attempted an emergency landing. The plane crashed in a Haseba suq that has been empty since the 2011 uprising.
       Abdulkareem Mayad, the deputy head of the Civil Defense Authority, said the plane crashed following a technical defect.  Mayad said the plane crashed 43 minutes following takeoff.
       He said the Civil Defense Authority is involved with an investigation into the crash, in coordination with the Yemeni air force. Mayad also dismissed the possibility of any Al-Qaeda involvement in the crash.
       Secretary of the Capital Abduqadir Helal said in an interview with Yemen Times that the plane was seen with flames pouring out of it into the skies above the Haseba market.
       Helal said the pilot made an attempt to land away from the residential areas, an act he called “heroic.”
       Abdullah Al-Qushaibi, a local council member in Haseba, said he was in the vicinity of the market at approximately 8:30 a.m. when he saw a plane swinging high in the sky, seemingly attempting to avoid hitting any buildings.
      “The plane moved toward Haseba market and crash-landed on the roof of shops, finally landing in a plume of smoke in the market,” Al-Qushaibi said.
He said the plane landed just meters from Al-Ramah school, where 2,000 students were attending the morning assembly.
       Firefighters rushed to scene of the accident, well after locals and school students crowded around to get a look. Fire trucks and ambulances were flustered and arrived late to the scene because of the large crowds.
       Transportation Minister Waed Badeeb said in a meeting Wednesday at Sana’a’s international Airport that aviation training procedures should not be implemented in skies above urban areas, particularly in Sana’a, for safety reasons. (T/P06/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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