Missing Ranbaxy helicopter still untraced | india | Hindustan Times
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Missing Ranbaxy helicopter still untraced

india Updated: Aug 05, 2008 22:23 IST

PTI
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The missing Ranbaxy helicopter with two pilots and an equal number of technical staff on board remained untraceable even on Tuesday, three days after taking off from the Hyderabad airport.

Both ground and aerial search launched in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to trace the Ran Air's helicopter, hired by Chhattisgarh government, have not yielded any result, Director General of Police Vishwaranjan told PTI in Raipur.

Helicopters from Chhattisgarh and Air Force have been deployed to trace the missing copter, Bell-430, which took off from Hyderabad at 3pm on Sunday and was supposed to land at regional headquarters of Bastar at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh at 4.30 pm for refueling. However, the copter never landed at Jagdalpur, the DGP said.

All contacts with the helicopter were lost at about 4 pm and since after that either Andhra Pradesh or Chhattisgarh does not know its whereabouts, Vishwaranjan said.

Ground forces have also failed to gather any information about the missing copter although an alert had been flashed to all the bordering police stations of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

A pilot involved in the search said two helicopters of Air Force and one from the Chhattisgarh Government were today pressed into operation to locate the copter.

Sorties were taken on the likely route of the missing flying machine, he said.

The search party is of the opinion that due to bad weather the pilots might have diverted the copter to somewhere or force landed in such a place from where they have failed to report to either ATC or officials due to lack of communication network, the search party members said.

Earlier, search operations had to be cancelled yesterday after bad weather hit the recce, officials said.

Three helicopters were put on reconnaissance in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh areas on Monday, but due to bad weather two helicopters had returned to their destinations in Andhra Pradesh yesterday where as one from the Chhattisgarh was grounded in Bastar region as heavy rains lashed the area, they said.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary Home NK Aswal said they have also alerted all the forces on the ground to look for the missing copter in their areas in the bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

However, Aswal told PTI that the search parties were clueless about the whereabouts of the missing copter with four members on board.

The Ranbaxy copter was hired by the Chhattisgarh government to take the state Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam from Raipur to the neighbouring Jharkhand.