Rain returns to Uttarakhand; takes four lives

Two persons, including the pilot, were killed in a helicopter crash at Garurchatti in Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district on Wednesday, police said.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Dehradun
UPDATED ON JUL 24, 2013 07:28 PM IST

Two persons were killed in a chopper crash at Kedarnath Valley in Rudraprayag district on Wednesday as rain returned to haunt Uttarakhand on Wednesday, with a cloudburst in Chamoli district claiming two more lives.

A V-17 chopper belonging to private operator Trans Bharat Airlines went down, killing pilot Captain Dhaliwal, 55, and his engineer when they were making another return sortie to Guptakashi to drop relief materials in Kedar Valley.

(site of air crash map)

The mishap occurred at Garun Chhatti, one of the most hostile areas in the valley, around 2:00pm.

The crashed chopper and another helicopter from the same operator group had been stationed at Kedarnath temple shrine area since Tuesday, after they flew a police team led by deputy inspector general GS Martolia for unearthing bodies of victims in last month’s disaster in the state.

An IAF Mi-17 V5 chopper on a rescue mission had crashed near Guptkashi in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand on June 25, killing all 20 on board.

A private chopper with relief material had met a similar fate on June 21 in Gaurikund area, leaving the pilot injured.

Chief minister Vijya Bahuguna announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.

In Chamoli district, two persons were killed and one injured when an early morning cloudburst swept away several houses across six villages of Karnprayag sub-division.

One person was reported missing in the incident.

The deceased were identified as Sultan Singh, 60 and Veena Rawat.

The bodies had been recovered, said sub-divisional magistrate Rahul Goyel. One Kiran was said to be missing.

“Houses close to the river have been evacuated,” Goyel said.

“However, 15-20 houses have been razed, 12 of which were in Sanauli village. Another 20-25 houses were partially damaged and declared dangerous. Villagers have been shifted to makeshift shelters.”

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