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Site for chopper crash identified

delhi Updated: May 03, 2011 00:03 IST
Rahul Karmarkar
Rahul Karmarkar
Hindustan Times
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After three days of search, a site has been identified near the Sela pass, where the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four others, might have crashed.

Identifying the spot as a "60 sq km area in Nagarjiji zone in West Kameng," Union minister V Narayanasamy said, "Search parties will reach the spot on foot by 2.30pm on Tuesday".

Satellite images provided by the Isro have indicated metallic objects in the area, possibly the debris of the helicopter, said officials in Delhi.

Border Road Organisation employees based in Banga Ganga camp had reported hearing an explosion from the nearby forest on Saturday morning, almost at the same time when the chopper went missing.

A similar claim was made by one Deepak Tamang, a Bomdila-based driver, who was travelling through the area.

On Monday too, weather hampered the search, which had been resumed at 6.15am by the army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal personnel. Two Mi-17 helicopters had made two sorties in the morning.

"We hope the 4,000 rescuers will come up with something," said government spokesman Jarbom Gamlin.

Khandu was headed for Itanagar with security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lamu. The two pilots were JS Babbar and TS Malik.

In Delhi, officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the concerned helicopter was a single engine helicopter, which does not meet the DGCA norms for the use of VIPs.

"Action will be initiated against the operator, Pawan Hans," said an official.

(With inputs from Delhi)