Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dorjee Khandu's body airlifted to Tawang

Confirming the death of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the state governor has been asked to take “necessary consequential steps”, an indication that a new chief minister will be chosen.

“It is with profound regret and sadness, I have to confirm the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh was killed in an air crash,” Chidambaram told reporters here.

The body has been identified and airlifted to Tawang, the chief minister’s native town.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor J J Singh has been asked to take necessary consequential steps and the Union Cabinet will be meeting in this regard at 11:30 AM, he said.

“The body has been identified by the officials in Lugathang as well as by the family members who were air-lifted to Lugathang... The two bodies (that of Khandu and a woman co-passenger) have been air-lifted to Tawang,” the Home Minister said.

Khandu and four others, including two pilots, who took off in a single—engine EuroCopter B8 of Pawan Hans, were killed in the crash and the bodies and wreckage of the chopper were spotted in a place between Kyela and Lugathang in the mountainous region of the state yesterday. The helicopter went missing on Saturday.

The other occupants of the helicopter were pilots Capt J S Babbar, Capt T S Mamik, Khandu’s security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawant MLA Tsewang Dhondup.

About the other three bodies, Chidambaram said, “The army team is making arrangements to bring the bodies, presumably first to either Kyela or Lugathang and then to Tawang, that will take some time”.

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