Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wreckage of Dhruv, bodies of 4 personnel found in North sikkim

GANGTOK: The wreckage of the Dhruv helicopter that went down in north Sikkim near the border with China on Thursday and the bodies of the four soldiers on board were found in the Shiv Mandir area on Friday.
Army helicopters located the wreckage at 9.30 a.m. and ground parties reached the spot an hour-and-a-half later, sources in the Eastern Army Command said. “Though it seems that the helicopter had crashed owing to the inclement weather, a court of inquiry has been ordered,” they said.

The helicopter, carrying two pilots of the rank of major and two technicians , took off on a routine training exercise, along with another Dhruv, from the Sewak road base in Siliguri at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday. It lost contact with the base around 11.30 a.m. while flying 15, 000 feet over Shiv Mandir, near Yumisamdong, a densely forested area covered with a thick blanket of snow. The spot is 15 km north of Lachung.

The army immediately launched a search, but postponed it till Friday morning owing to the inclement weather.
On April 19, a Russian-made Mi-17-2 helicopter, owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd., crashed after it took off from Guwahati for Tawang, killing 17 persons. The indigenously developed Dhruv has been serving the Army and the Indian Air Force. — PTI

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