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Missing Pawan Hans chopper spotted in Arunachal, rescue ops on

A Pawan Hans chopper with three people on board, including an IAS officer, has gone missing on Tuesday morning in a remote area in the militant-infested Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, officials said.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2015 18:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Chopper,IAS officer,Chopper missing

A Pawan Hans helicopter with three persons on board, including an IAS officer, that was declared missing on Tuesday morning was spotted in the dense forests in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Tirap deputy commissioner Kamlesh Joshi, an IAS officer, is said to be missing beside the pilot and navigator. A PTI report from Guwahati, however, said the passengers included a senior police official.

Reports said Air Traffic Control lost contact with the chopper – a twin-engine Dauphin N3 -- around 11 am near a place called Deomali in Tirap district which has a strong presence of Naga militants.

Sources said, the officer was on his way to Khonsa from Dibrugarh in Assam when the chopper went missing.

An aerial search operation has already begun, officials said in capital Itanagar.

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four others were killed when the Pawan Hans helicopter they were travelling in crashed in a remote area close to the border with China in April, 2011.

Just a few days earlier, another Pawan Hans helicopter had crashed while landing in Tawan killing at least 16 persons.

Earlier this month, bad weather forced an Mi-172 Pawan Hans helicopter, with 19 passengers and three crew members on board, to land in a village in Sonitpur area of northern Assam, minutes after it had taken off from Naharlagun in Itanagar.

Helicopter service is crucial to connecting far-flung places in Arunachal Pradesh and Pawan Hans connects the capital Itanagar with several interior towns in the state.

Chopper services in the state Pradesh were suspended following the two disasters but finally resumed in January 2013.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 04, 2015 15:10 IST