Sunday, November 27, 2011

Indian BSF chopper crashes in Jharkhand, three killed

Ranchi :  A Border Security Force (BSF) helicopter crashed in a forested area near this Jharkhand capital Wednesday, killing all three people on board, police said. The two pilots, Captain S.P. Singh and Captain A. Thomas, and crew member M. Swain were killed when the helicopter crashed near Kolad village on the Ranchi-Khuti border, about 40 km from here. The helicopter was completely burnt and parts were strewn in an area of more than 200 metres, S.N. Pradhan, inspector general of police (operations), told IANS. According to an eyewitness, there was a terrible sound before the chopper crashed, catching fire and breaking into several parts. The black box has been recovered.

A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) team will probe the cause of the incident. Though the helicopter, regularly used for anti-Maoist operations, crashed in a Maoist-affected area, Pradhan said there was no possibility of the guerrillas being involved in the incident. The chopper was flying around 2,000 feet above the ground. The crash site indicates that the chopper crashed at high speed. It could have developed a technical snag. According to a government official, a 10-member team of the union rural development ministry was scheduled to visit the Saranda jungle, a Maoist stronghold, in West Singhbhum district. The helicopter took off at 8.40 a.m. for a recce of the area and the central team was supposed to follow.

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