The military’s press wing Inter Services Public Relation Directorate or ISPR said all four pilots on board the two Yak-130 aircraft, which crashed around 6:30pm on Wednesday, were rescued alive.
Cox’s Bazar Airport Manager Sadhan Kumar Mohanta told bdnews24.com that the control room had lost contact with the two jets in the evening.
Later, they received reports of the crashes at Putibila Palparha and Maizparha, he said.
Cox’s Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police Afrajul Haque Tutul told bdnews24.com that Maheshkhali Fire Service and local police personnel started the rescue operation immediately after the accident.
Lt Col Rashidul Hasan, a director of the ISPR, told bdnews24.com that the two two-seater planes had flown from BAF Base Zahurul Haque.
The four pilots were being treated at BNS Patenga Hospital, he said and added all of them were out of danger.
“But the reason behind the accident is still unknown,” he said.
He also said a high-level committee is investigating the accident.
An Air Force source told bdnews24.com that they initially suspected that the two aircraft crashed after midair collision.
A huge number of onlookers gathered at the scene as the fire crew arrived in the area soon after the incident and started to douse the fire.
The debris of the crashed planes fell over a one-kilometre area. Debris were also found at Kutubjom Khandaker Parha and Dasimajhi Parha villages.
Locals said a house in Putibila Palparha was partially damaged in the crash.
Maheshkhali Police Station OC Pradip Kumar Das said seven people were injured while rushing in panic and dousing the fire.
“But we have not removed the debris in the interest of investigation. People from the Air Force are working on the issue,” he added.
On July 11 this year, a Yak-130 training plane of the Air Force crashed in Chittagong’s Lohagarha after flying from the Zahurul Haque base.
The Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light-attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer.
The BAF commissioned the Yak-130 aircraft in 2015.