Copter crash: Poor weather could have played spoilsport, says eyewitness

As he heard the sound of the helicopter, Kutty started shooting video and found the chopper disappearing into the fog and soon heard a big sound, the duo told reporters here.
Copter crash: Poor weather could have played spoilsport, says eyewitness
A glimpse of the chopper can be seen before it disappears in the dense fog with a bang possibly of the sound of the chopper hitting the ground.[Screengrab]ANI

Coimbatore, Dec 10: A city-based wedding photographer who had recorded a video of what he claims to be that of the ill-fated Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter which crashed in nearby Coonoor, killing Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others, on Friday said bad weather and poor visibility could have resulted in the chopper meeting with the accident.

General Rawat, his wife and 11 others were killed when the Mi-17VH helicopter crashed in a wooded valley at Katteri-Nanjappanchathram area in Coonoor in the hilly Nilgiris district on Wednesday. One IAF personnel survived the crash and is undergoing treatment in Bengaluru.

On Friday, Y Joe Alias Kutty, who on Wednesday recorded the video of the helicopter, said to be the ill-fated one, apparently moments before it crashed, attributed bad weather and poor visibility to the mishap.

Kutty (52) is a wedding photographer from the city and had recorded the video on his mobile phone. The video has since gone viral in the social media.

He and his friend Nazar, along with the latter's family, had gone to Katteri area for clicking photographs and out of curiosity, Joe had videographed the ill-fated helicopter.

Noting that Nazar had come with his family members on a tour to Udhagamandalam (Ooty) that day, Kutty said they were walking along the mountain train track near Katteri as the women members were posing for photographs and videos.

As he heard the sound of the helicopter, Kutty started shooting video and found the chopper disappearing into the fog and soon heard a big sound, the duo told reporters here.

Even as they tried to reach the hill, a police team arrived at the spot and stopped them from moving further, they said.

Though they tried to reach the officials in the offices of district collectorate and SP that day, they were unable to convey the message.

"However, we shared the footage with a police official," they said.

Meanwhile, all shops, commercial establishments and hotels downed their shutters in Nilgiris district as a mark of respect to the departed.

Private buses, tourist taxies and autorickshaws also remained off the road, even as the public arranged events to pay floral tributes to the deceased at various place in the district.

Greater Kashmir
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