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India paramilitary plane crash leaves 10 dead

A chartered aircraft carrying Indian military personnel has crashed near the capital's main airport. An aviation official said that an inquiry was ordered to determine the cause of the fatal crash.

Shortly after the pilot lost contact with ground control, a small Beechcraft Super King carrying eight military engineers and two pilots hit the boundary wall of New Delhi's Indira Gandhi international airport, said Delhi Fire Services' Director A.K. Sharma.

The aircraft then landed in a small body of water, leaving parts of it submerged, added Sharma.

Carrying technicians of India's Border Security Force, the plane was destined for Ranchi in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

The military engineers were meant to repair a helicopter upon arrival in Ranchi, reported AFP news agency.

"It's a matter of grave concern that the plane crashed soon after take-off. I am extremely sad to say that all 10 people, including the pilots, have died," said Junior Civil Aviation Minister Mahesh Sharma.

"It is not clear yet what caused the accident. We have ordered an inquiry," Sharma added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to comment on the crash, saying he was pained by the loss of lives in the crash.

The crash site is less than a kilometer (0.62 miles) away from an airstrip used by India's security forces, also located at New Delhi's main airport.

ls/jil (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)