IAF Mi-17 chopper crashes in Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath, 6 injured
Six people, including two pilots, were injured on Tuesday morning after a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Kedarnath in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district while landing, officials said.
A senior district official said the helicopter, one of the world’s most advanced military transport helicopters, was carrying construction material.
“Reasons (behind the crash) are unknown but a probe (by the concerned agency) will perhaps pinpoint the reasons. All the six people on board, including two pilots, sustained minor injuries but are safe,” Rudraprayag’s district magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said over the phone.
The personnel of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering and local police swung into action soon after the Russian-origin transport helicopter crashed above the helipad located behind the Kedarnath shrine.
One of the people involved in the rescue operation said that the helicopter got entangled with an iron girder while landing and crashed as the pilots lost control.
This is the second time an MI 17 has crashed in the Kedarnath valley since 2013.
An MI helicopter carrying 19 passengers, including the pilots, crashed near Gaurikund in June 2013 killing everyone on board during the rescue operations in the Kedarnath valley after the devastating floods and landslides.
Massive reconstruction works have been going in the Kedarnath valley since 2013 where many hotels, rest houses and shops around the temple were destroyed. Although the shrine is annually closed for six months during the winters for pilgrims, the construction is on in the area.
The portals of the shrine will be opened on April 29 this year.