Bhutan agrees to Indian sorties to trace Khandu | india | Hindustan Times
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Bhutan agrees to Indian sorties to trace Khandu

india Updated: May 01, 2011 21:59 IST

The permission of Bhutanese authorities has been obtained for air sorties for search and rescue operations in their territory, to trace the missing helicopter of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu with five others on board, an official statement said in Itanagar on Sunday.

Search teams from Bhutan have also launched rescue operation in seven districts of the Himalayan kingdom, government spokesman Jarbom Gamlin said in the statement. Cooperation of the neighbouring districts of Bhutan has been obtained through district administration and public to public contacts, it said.

There is still no official information on the whereabouts of Khandu and the others on board the missing Pawan Hans helicopter.

The Army, SSB, ITBP along with police launched a massive joint operation, while the Eastern Air Command operational control room informed that an Air Force chopper had taken off from Tawang on a search mission which did two sorties, but could not get any clue, the statement said. Choppers stationed at Guwahati and Tezpur could not take off due to inclement weather and rainfall in the area.

A Pawan Hans helicopter took off from Naharlagun helipad at about 07:30 am along with a medical team and state police officials on a search mission. Two Cheetah helicopters tried to search the areas around Sella Pass, but came back in the evening without any success.

The National Disaster Response Force, Delhi has now been contacted and requested to provide suitable directions to the NDRF battalion at Guwahati to help the police in its search and rescue operation in West Kameng district. Accordingly a team of NDRF comprising 38 personnel with search and rescue equipment proceeded to Bomdila by road at 1000 hrs on Sunday for assisting the police in search and rescue operations.