Thursday, 13 August 2015

Days after missing Pawan Hans chopper was located, three bodies found in Arunachal Pradesh

Search and rescue teams looking for a helicopter that went missing in Arunachal Pradesh with three people on board have spotted bodies and wreckage, an official said on Wednesday.

The bodies were spotted along with the wreckage of the Pawan Hans chopper that went missing on August 4 in a deep gorge in a remote forested area in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi confirmed this on Wednesday but said it will take time to recover the bodies due to the hilly terrain.

"The search team had spotted the bodies amid the wreckage today. The operation is on to recover the bodies now. We are trying to bring it to Khonsa first. However, it is likely to take some time due to the difficult mountainous terrain," he said.

Paratroopers of the Indian Army and some mountaineers will be pressed into service on Thursday to find out the Pawan Hans chopper and its passengers that went missing in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh last week.

Director General of Police S Nitithyanandam told PTI that highly-trained commandos of the HAWS in Jammu and Kashmir, who were airdropped in the tough hilly region, reached the spot where the debris of the chopper had been spotted on Monday last.

It may be mentioned here that the aerial search operations have located the main portion of the wreckage of the Pawan Hans chopper lying in a gorge between two hills on Tuesday but the steep downward climb has made it difficult for the rescue teams to reach to it.

The massive search operations involved Tirap and Changlang district administrations, the army, Assam Rifles and police personnel, as also IAF’s Ml-17, Cheetah helicopters, Sukhoi MKI30 and EW Boeing aircrafts. Joshi's wife Neha and brother Maj Rajesh Joshi had been camping at Khonsa since August 6. Often hindered by inclement weather, the search operation had succeeded in locating the tail portion of the chopper from a place, about 4-5 km away from Sangliam village on a hill covered with dense forest on Monday last, civil aviation secretary B M Mishra had said.

The Dauphin twin-engine helicopter went missing with the Tirap DC and the two pilots after taking off from Khonsa in Tirap district on August 4 last. The chopper was on way to Longding to pick up its Deputy Commissioner and that of Changlang and proceed to New Delhi to attend an important meeting on August 6.

The wreckage has been located between Pongkong and Longliang villages in Tirap district. The bodies were burnt badly as the chopper seems to have exploded following the crash.

After spotting the main portion of the wreckage of the chopper, the government had used the services of army`s paratroopers and mountaineers to reach to the wreckage on Wednesday.

The chopper went missing it took off from Khonsa in Tirap district on August 4.

Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar Joshi and two pilots of the chopper were on its way to Longding on a routine sortie and it was supposed to return to Mohanbari airport in Dibrugarh.

Hectic search operations have been on to locate the missing helicopter and its three boarders by the IAF choppers, Army, the Assam Rifles, Arunachal Pradesh police personnel and local villagers since the last eight days.

Thursday 13 August 2015


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