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Maharashtra CM Fadnavis rescued by Muslim scrap dealer after chopper crashes

A helicoptor carrying Devendra Fadnavis and his team crashed in Latur on Thursday due to a technical snag.

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2017 15:11 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, Latur
Devendra Fadnavis,Chief Minister,helicopter crash
The wreckage of the helicopter, carrying Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team, that crashed-landed in Latur on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

When a chopper carrying Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and five others came crashing down in Latur on Thursday afternoon, the first person to rush to the rescue was small-time scrap dealer Irfan Shaikh, who shouted “Our king (CM) is trapped in the chopper”.

While Shaikh ran towards the chopper to rescue those inside, some others nearby ran away from the aircraft, fearing it might explode.

The chopper came hurtling down from a height of nearly 80 feet in a thick cloud of dust, accompanied by some flashes of light and a loud booming sound.

While others bolted from the chopper, the 28-year-old Shaikh - unmindful of the risk, ran towards the craft to see how he could help the people stuck inside.

“The copter door was jammed and could not be opened... I pushed it but it didn’t budge... The Chief Minister then responded by pushing it from inside... Then I managed to force it open from outside... I offered my hand to the CM and helped him step down,” Shaikh told a local mediaperson, Govind Ingle of Lokmat Group.

A shaken Fadnavis told Shaikh that he was “fit and ok”, and asked him to help the pilots and others on board the chopper even as he walked a few steps away.

Officials of the Chief Minister’s Office in Mumbai confirmed the developments on Friday, but declined to say whether Fadnavis would felicitate or honour the scrap dealer for rushing to assist them at a critical time, as the chopper could have exploded.

Later, Fadnavis told people that it was the “blessings of the 12-crore people of Maharashtra and Jai Bhavani” which helped him and the five others survive the crash.

First Published: May 26, 2017 15:11 IST