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Arunachal CM confirmed dead in chopper crash

Thursday, May 5, 2011

/ Published by VIRTHLI

New Delhi: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash in the area mountainous area of Lobothang just north of Sela Pass, the third highest pass in the world.

Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region BK Handique on Wednesday said that all the five occupants of the ill-fated four-seater Pawan Hans helicopter died in the crash on Saturday.

"The bodies are yet to be lifted from the crash site. The bodies will be brought to Itanagar," said Handique.

Handique said that debris of the helicopter believed to be that Arunachal Chief Minister was located with five bodies, indicating that there were no survivors.

Earlier, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that some villagers had reached the crash site and had seen five bodies.

"Some villagers have reached the crash site and they had interrupted communication with the DIG at the control room. According to the communication by the villagers three bodies are charred," Chidambaram said in New Delhi.

Besides Khandu, others on board were pilots Captain JS Babbar, Captain TS Mamik, Khandu's security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup.

Search parties are yet to reacjh the crash site. They moving in from three areas towards the crash site. The first party has started from Ramasapper, the second from Jung Waterfalls and the third from Lobothang. The nearest habitation to the crash site is a place called Sujula and reaching Sujula from Lobothang, which is six kms away, is going to take time.

The six km long road is snow filled and strong winds are making it tough for helicopters to land near the crash site. Home Ministry sources say that the search teams are unlikely to reach crash site on Wednesday as the area is snow laden.

United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh could arrive in Itanagar to pay their last respects to Khandu.


Here's the animated video of the crash site obtained from ibnlive.
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