Army helicopter crash-lands in Udhampur, both pilots succumb to injuries
Two pilots were killed on Tuesday when an Army helicopter crash-landed on a hill in Shiv Garh Dhar area, near Patnitop tourist resort in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials familiar with the matter said.
The incident took place at around11 am when the chopper, a Cheetah, was on a routine training sortie. The two pilots -- Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput -- were critically injured and rushed to the nearest medical facility where they succumbed later, the officials added.
“Today, during a training sortie in Patnitop area, Indian Army’s Cheetah Helicopter crash landed in Shiv Garh Dhar area in Udhampur district. Two pilots were injured and evacuated to the hospital but they could not survive,” defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said,
While Major Rohit Kumar hailed from Noida West, Major Anuj Rajput was a resident of Panchkula district.
Visuals shared on social media showed the wrecked helicopter on a hill with some villagers trying to pull out the injured pilots.
“The chopper crashed on a hill. Search parties were rushed to the area but dense fog and rains hampered rescue operations,” a senior J&K police officer said, preferring anonymity.
Offering his condolences to families of the deceased, lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha tweeted: “I salute the courage and supreme sacrifice of our braveheart Army officers Major Rohit Kumar & Major Anuj Rajput who laid down their lives in the line of duty at Patnitop, Udhampur. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief.”
Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh also expressed grief over the incident.
“Saddened to receive the news of death of both the Pilots who were injured this morning in the Army Helicopter crash in #Patnitop region of #JammuAndKashmir. Despite prompt and best possible aid, they could not be saved. My deep condolences to the bereaved families,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.
Northern Army commander Lt Gen YK Joshi was also among those who paid tributes to the deceased pilots and offered condolences to their families.
On August 3, two pilots were killed after an army helicopter crashed into Ranjit Sagar Dam lake near Pathankot. The body of one fallen pilot is still missing.