J-K: 6 Vaishno Devi pilgrims, pilot killed in Katra chopper crash

Updated on Nov 23, 2015 05:46 PM IST

Seven people were killed on Monday when a helicopter carrying Vaishno Devi pilgrims crashed near Katra in Jammu region, police said.

According to unconfirmed reports, the chopper caught fire mid-air and the woman pilot averted the crash in a populated area in Katra.(Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)
According to unconfirmed reports, the chopper caught fire mid-air and the woman pilot averted the crash in a populated area in Katra.(Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times | ByTarun Upadhyay, Jammu

Seven people including the pilot were killed after a chopper carrying Vaishno Devi pilgrims crashed at Katra in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday afternoon.

The chopper – coming from Sanjichat – crashed at the new bus stand area in Katra town, Jammu inspector general of police Danish Rana confirmed.

According to unconfirmed reports, the chopper caught fire mid-air and the woman pilot averted the crash in a populated area in Katra.

The passengers who were killed in the crash were identified as Arjun Singh, Mahesh, Vandana, Sachin, Amritpal and five-year-old Akshita. Police said all deceased were from Jammu.

Vaishno Devi pilgrims take chopper service to Sanjichat, which is near Bhawan.

It is a 12-km mountainous trek from Katra and pilgrims usually go either by foot or take a pony or palanquin to Vaishno Devi.

The shrine is nestled in the Shivalik range in the Himalayan foothills, 56 km north of Jammu, and has become one of the most popular pilgrimage centres in north India. Millions of pilgrims from across the country and abroad visit the shrine every year.

In February, a military helicopter had crashed north of Srinagar, killing both pilots.

(With agency inputs)

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