Chennai:  An Indian Air Force (IAF) trainer aircraft crashed into a lake near Chennai on early Tuesday but both pilots ejected safely, officials said.

The two-seater Kiran trainer aircraft crashed as it was returning to the Tambaram air force station after a routine training sortie.

It then plunged into the Ayyanchery lake a police officer told reporters, adding that the wreckage had been pulled out of the water.

The pilots were rescued after they ejected safely and have been taken to a nearby hospital.

"An inquiry has been ordered to find out what caused the crash," a defence ministry spokesperson said.