Two Indian Army personnel — a junior commanding officer (JCO) and a jawan — were killed while another sustained injuries when the barrel of a T-90 Bhishma tank burst during a field firing exercise in Babina area of Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening.
The Times of India has published the following information about the unfortunate incident, “The incident took place around 7pm at the field firing range point 6A, 20 km from Jhansi, when 55 armoured regiment was engaged in an annual exercise which started on October 1.
According to a general diary of Babina Police, lodged by a major-rank officer, “Due to a burst of the barrel of a T-90 tank during night firing, the three-member crew of the tank sustained injuries. They all were evacuated immediately and taken to Babina Military Hospital, where two people were declared dead.”
“The commander of the tank and the gunner unfortunately succumbed to burn injuries. The driver is out of danger and under treatment,” the official said.
The deceased were identified as Naib Risaldar Sumer Singh Bagaria of Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan and Sowar Sukanta Mondal of Nadia, West Bengal. Driver of the tank Lance Dafadar Pradeep Singh Yadav of Sant Kabir Nagar, UP, was injured.
According to a press statement released by the defence ministry, Pradeep is out of danger and is under treatment.
“A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident,” read the statement.
It added that the Indian Army has expressed their deep condolences to the bereaved families of the soldiers who lost their lives in the accident.
An armoured regiment officer told TOI that there could be several reasons for the barrel blast.
“It could be dust or may be faulty ammunition which might have caused the blast. Only after detailed inquiry one may be able to know the reason for the unfortunate incident which took two lives,” he said.