A Chadian Air Force Su-25 fighter jet ejected a missile “accidentally” onto the home of a senior army officer, close to Chad headquarters of French-military-led Operation Barkhane, on Friday.
Confirming the incident, French Embassy in N'Djaména said in a statement on April 17 that “an accidental explosion of a rocket from a ground device of the Chadian Air Force” had taken place.
Local media reports said 5 civilians killed on an airbase in N'Djamena, Chad, after a missile was accidentally fired from a SU-25 fighter jet narrowly missing a French Air Force C-130 aircraft. Video grab shot of the event shows the missile from the parked jet deflecting off an empty fuel tanker and narrowly missile the C-130.
While some reports said that the aircraft was parked at the time of the incident, others said that the bomb broke loose as the jet tried to take off from a nearby air base.
"The plane was taking off when the bomb broke loose, and hit a private residence in the city that houses soldiers’ families next to the Kossei Air Base," an air force officer was quoted as saying by several reports.
The Air Force has Russian-made Su-25 combat jet in its inventory, which was used to strike Boko Haram militants near Lake Chad last month. It is said to have bought MiG-29s from Ukraine in 2014.
“The incident left the home of Mahamat Saleh Arim, deputy commander of the presidential guard and a close ally of President Idriss Deby Itno, destroyed,” an AFP journalist at the scene near the Adji Kossei airbase said.
Four people have been killed in the incident, an Air Force official said.
“An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of this incident,” Youssouf Tom, the public prosecutor at the N’Djamena High Court, told AFP.
The area where the warhead struck is just meters away from Chad headquarters of Operation Barkhane, a French-led campaign fighting militants in the Sahel region. Around 4,500 French personnel are deployed.
“French soldiers of the Operation Barkhane were immediately deployed to support the Chadian forces and provided assistance to the victims after the accidental explosion of a rocket from a ground device of the Chadian Air Force. It caused several victims near the Kossei Base. Three wounded were taken into emergency care at the hospital of the French military base,” French Embassy in N'Djaména said.