Itanagar, Oct 21: An Advanced Light Combat helicopter of the Indian Army crashed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Siang district on Friday, and bodies of four of the five people on board have been recovered so far, officials.
A search is on to locate the remaining missing soldier.
A defence spokesman said that the cause of the crash at this stage is not known, and details are being ascertained.
“A joint search and rescue operation of Army and Air Force was launched immediately. One MI-17, two Advanced Light Helicopters and three columns of the Indian Army were deployed in the search operations,” the spokesman said.
“There were five people on board. There is very little chance of survival of the missing soldier,” a senior district official told IANS over phone from district headquarters Yingkiong.
The crash took place on Friday morning in Migging village, around 25 km from the district headquarters. The helicopter, which took off from Lekabali, was on a regular sortie. Since the site of the crash is not connected by road, more details are still awaited.
Upper Siang’s Superintendent of Police, Jummar Basar, said the crash site is a mountainous region, and it would take time to complete the search operation.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted: “Shocked to hear about the news of Advanced Light Combat Helicopter crash near Tuting area in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The State Government has rushed the rescue team to the accident site and providing all assistance.”
“Received very disturbing news about Indian Army’s Advanced Light Helicopter crash in Upper Siang District in Arunachal Pradesh. My deepest prayers,” tweeted Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh.
This was the second incident of an Army chopper accident in the state this month. On October 5, a pilot was killed after a Cheetah helicopter crashed during a routine sortie in the forward areas near Tawang.