19 feared killed in IAF chopper crash in Uttarakhand

An IAF helicopter MI-17 V5 during rescue operation in Gauchar on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

An IAF helicopter MI-17 V5 during rescue operation in Gauchar on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

GAUCHAR: About 19 people, including Air Force and para-military personnel, were today feared killed when a sophisticated IAF helicoptercrashed in bad weather near Gaurikund in Uttarakhand during rescue operations.
Vice Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) M Sashidhar Reddy said eight bodies have been recovered and chances of any survivor among the 19 onboard were remote. “There were 19 people onboard including NDRF, ITBP and IAF personnel. Eight bodies have been recovered,” he told PTI. An IAF spokesperson said in Delhi, “One Mi-17 V5 chopper on a rescue mission from Gauchar to Guptkashi and Kedarnath while returning from Kedarnath crashed north of Gaurikund.” Among those killed were three IAF officers, she said, adding that eight people died in the mishap.

Rudraprayag SP Varinderjeet Singh said the cause of the crash is not immediately known but chances are high that the mishap occurred due to bad weather. A senior Air Force officer in Gauchar said the ill-fated Mi-17 chopper had made two sorties to the Kedarnath area since this morning and was on its third sortie when it crashed. The crash occurred in “difficult” weather conditions created by rains and fog, he said. The chopper belonged to a unit from Barrackpore Air Force Station in West Bengal under the Eastern Air Command. A Court of Inquiry has been order to investigate the crash, the spokesperson said.

The IAF said its operations in the area will continue. IAF had started inducting Mi-17 V5 choppers only last year after 80 of them were ordered from Russia….

Click here to read more