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Pakistan quake survivors storm UN choppers

The people demanded to be taken to Muzaffarabad. Weapons were not used during the incident.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2006 19:26 IST

Officials in the quake-hit regions of Pakistan have reported that quake victims forced their way onto two United Nations aid helicopters and then made the crew airlift them from the disaster zone.

The people on onechopperlater jumped and ran away as soon as they landed in Muzaffarabad.

The pilot of the other chopper diverted to the nearby city of Abbotabad in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

More than 50 survivors stormed the UN choppers after they landed with relief goods in Banamula, a remote town in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, UN spokesman Ben Malor told the AFP.

The reported incidentsoccur after freezing weather gripped the area devastated by the October 8 earthquake, which left nearly 74,000 people dead.

"These were not people booked on the flight. Apparently they demanded to be taken to Muzaffarabad,the capital of Pakistani Kashmir. We are still trying to get to the bottom of these reports," he added.

"We are in constant discussions with the Pakistani military at the various locations where the incidents took place and are talking to the authorities on the ground in these places to ascertain the truth about these reports."

None of the people who stormed the helicopters used weapons during the incidents, the official added.

Helicopters from around the world have been a crucial part of the effort to get shelter, blankets and food to isolated areas and to evacuate injured victims of the giant 7.6-magnitude quake.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 19:26 IST