Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Air-borne systems test blast will not affect light combat aircraft certification

Ten people were injured in a low intensity explosion occurred while conducting a pre-lightning test at the centre for air-borne systems (CABS) on Thursday.

The injured, scientists and Indian Air Force personnel, were overseeing preparations to conduct lightning tests at one of the facilities of the Bangalore-based DRDO laboratory, whose primary function was the development and evaluation of air-borne electronic systems for military applications.

According to sources, the explosion occurred around 5.15 pm at the Lightning Test Facility of CABS, where the controlled test ignition (pre-testing activity carried out prior to actual test) was conducted.

The explosion shattered the window planes of the facility, sending glass shards flying around and injuring the scientists and IAF men.

The injured were rushed to the nearby Command Hospital and the Manipal Hospital. Except Shankar Bhatt, a scientist, who underwent an eye surgery, the remaining nine injured were treated as out-patients.

“According to the information provided to us, a bulb-burst during a test resulted in the injuries. All injuries were minor— most of them caused by glass shards. The patients were treated in the out patient unit and they left the hospital yesterday (Thursday) night itself,” Dr Sudarshan Balal, chief of medicine, Manipal Hospital said.

Sources said scientists from various DRDO laboratories and IAF personnel had assembled at the Lightning Test Facility to test the fuel tanks of the light combat aircraft Tejas, as part of its certification process.

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