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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu killed in chopper crash

Babu Ram
NEW DELHI: The ministry of external affairs confirmed on Wednesday that Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu has been killed in a chopper crash, according to Times Now.

The chopper crashed between Kyela and Lobothang near Tawang district.

SM Krishna said he is deeply pained by the demise of Dorjee Khandu.

Three bodies were on Wednesday sighted along with wreckage of an aircraft at a place on the path the helicopter carrying Dorjee Khandu and four others had taken.

Earlier in the day, breaking information that is "not encouraging and not good news", Home minister P Chidambaram said at a place between Kyela and Lobothang a party sent by circle officer sighted what appears to be an aircraft.

"They have sighted three bodies. This sighting has been made from a height. They have not been able to go down to the place where the aircraft is (lying) crashed. The message has been given to the nearest Army post which is sending a team," he had told reporters.

On Wednesday morning, search operation for missing helicopter carrying Khandu focussed on in three areas along Indo-Bhutan border.

"Based on inputs received from the ISRO satellite and the Sukhoi-30 aircraft, as well as information provided by some local people, the search operations are now going inNagar GG, District Tawang; immediate south of Sela Pass known as Eagle's Nest Reserve Forest and district Phangrong in Bhutan", said home ministry joint secretary Sambhu Singh.

Singh had said, "The search operations are being carried out by teams from the Army, ITBP, SSB, Arunachal Pradesh Police, NDRF and grazers from Arunachal Pradesh. The Government of Bhutan has also deployed search teams on its side of the border".

The Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying the chief minister took off from Tawang at 9.50 am on Saturday. The last radio contact with the ground was about 20 minutes after take off as it flew over the Sela Pass along the Chinese border perched at an altitude of 13,700 feet.

There were about 3,500 personnel deployed in the search operations.

Hopes for Arunanchal Pradesh's Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others are fading fast. It's been more than 72 hours since their chopper went missing and so far search operations have yielded no clues.



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