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YSR was headed to party event

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 02, 2009
First Published: 23:59 IST(2/9/2009) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(3/9/2009)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who remained untraced till late night on Wednesday, had taken off early morning from Hyderabad to attend a function in Chittoor district.

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The Bell 430 helicopter with five persons on board, including two pilots, took off from the Old Begampet airport around 8.35 am and headed towards a village in Chittoor district, south of Hyderbad, to inaugurate a Rachha Bandha (people interaction programme).

But around 9.13 am, the air traffic control (ATC) lost contact with the helicopter, while it was possibly flying over the Nallamala forest ranges — around 140 km from Hyderabad. Panic spread all across the country after the news spread that the helicopter carrying the CM had gone missing.

The state government immediately launched a massive search operation and subsequently alerted the Prime Minister's Office, the Union Home Ministry and Defence Ministry about this development.

A state government, who refused to be identified, said, “Last time, the helicopter was sighted by some local villagers was around 9.15 am.”


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