Northern Army chief’s chopper makes emergency landing, all 7 onboard safe
A helicopter of the Indian Army carrying the chief of the force’s Northern Command Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh and other officers made an emergency landing following a technical glitch in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch on Thursday, officials said.
The army’s Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) with Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and six other officers on board was on a sortie from Udhampur to Poonch when it developed a technical snag, according to a source.
“A helicopter with Army Commander Northern Command onboard has executed a forced landing on account of technical snag in general area of Poonch. Crew and passengers are safe,” the army said in a statement.
Poonch district’s senior superintendent of police, Ramesh Kumar Angral, said while speaking to HT that the ALH crash-landed by a river in Bedar area on Mandi-Sawjian route around 1.50pm on Thursday and all on board were injured in the accident.
“The ALH was being flown by two pilots and it had Northern Army chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and six others that included two colonels, one captain and three sahayaks (assistants) on board,” Angral said.
“All the nine onboard, including two pilots, were injured and a civilian, who was hit by a flying part of the chopper, also suffered some stitches on his leg. The Northern Army commander suffered minor injuries but one of the two pilots suffered serious injuries,” the official added.
The police officer also said that soon after the incident, all the injured including Lt Gen Ranbir Singh were evacuated to the Northern Command’s hospital in Udhampur.
Sources also said that Lt Col Nambiar and a co-pilot, an Indian Navy officer on deputation to the army, were flying the chopper.
The Northern Command chief was on a visit to the forward areas south of Pir Panjal to take stock of the situation along the Line of Control (LoC).
Pakistan has been continuously opening heavy fire on Indian posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts since August 5 when India revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union territories.
Poonch is around 250km from Jammu.