In a tragic development reported from Uttarakhand, seven persons, including a pilot, were killed in a helicopter crash near Kedarnath. Search operation has been initiated in the aftermath of the tragedy. According to reports, six pilgrims were aboard a helicopter which crashed in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district after colliding with a hill due to low visibility.
The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel and local police force were rushed to the spot to search and find the bodies of the deceased. However, the operation has since been hit due to low visibility and heavy rain.
“The search and rescue operation is going on. The helicopter was from the Aryan Company and seven people were travelling on it. Due to fog, there was less visibility and the helicopter crashed after colliding with a hill,” a statement by SDRF read, as quoted in an Indian Express report.
As per reports, the tragedy struck sometime around 11.45 am, not long after the Bell-407 helicopter (VT-RPN), owned by Aryan Aviation, took off. The victims of the accident include natives from Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, while the pilot was from Maharashtra.
“Anguished by the helicopter crash in Uttarakhand. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
A detailed investigation has been ordered by the DGCA.
The Facts of the Matter
Weeks after seven persons, including 3 IIT students, were killed after a bus in Himachal Pradesh fell into gorge, another tragedy has been reported from a scenic destination. This time, at least seven persons died after a helicopter crashed near Kedarnath in Uttar Pradesh.
According to reports, the helicopter, a Bell-407, was flying from Kedarnath to Guptkashi when it crashed between Lincholi and Garud Chatti.
Helicopter Collided with Hill Before Crashing
The helicopter reportedly collided into a hill and crashed on the ground, leading to the deaths of all passengers, and its pilot. The exact cause of the incident has been reported to be low-visibility due to bad weather.
#WATCH | Uttarakhand: A helicopter carrying Kedarnath pilgrims from Phata crashes, casualties feared; administration team left for the spot for relief and rescue work. Further details awaited pic.twitter.com/sDf4x1udlJ
— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2022
Rescue Op Hit Due to Bad Weather
Following the incident, teams of SDRF and local forces were deployed to conduct a search and rescue operation. However, the operation was hit by bad weather.
“The helicopter was from the Aryan Company and seven people were travelling on it. Due to fog, there was less visibility and the helicopter crashed after colliding with a hill,” the SDRF’s statement read.
#WATCH | Uttarakhand: Despite the snowfall and bad weather, the operation by NDRF, SDRF and police officials is underway at the site of the helicopter crash in Phata of Kedarnath.
Seven people have died in the chopper crash. pic.twitter.com/j4WA8ClJTR
— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2022
The seven persons who died due to the tragic mishap have been identified as Purva, Kruti, Urvi, Sujata, Prem and Kala. The victims of the accident hailed from Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, while the pilot was from Maharashtra.
Following the incident, various prominent dignitaries took to Twitter to share further updates.
Aviation Minister, Uttarakhand CM, PM Modi Expresses Grief
Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia took to Twitter and wrote – “The helicopter crash in Kedarnath is extremely unfortunate. We are in touch with the State government to ascertain the magnitude of the loss, and are constantly monitoring the situation.”
The helicopter crash in Kedarnath is extremely unfortunate. We are in touch with the State government to ascertain the magnitude of the loss, and are constantly monitoring the situation.
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) October 18, 2022
Uttarakhand Chief Minister took to Twitter to express his grief. “Very sad news of some casualties in the unfortunate helicopter crash at Garuda Chatti near Kedarnath. SDRF and district administration teams have reached the spot for relief and rescue work. A detailed inquiry has been ordered into this tragic incident.”
केदारनाथ के समीप गरुड़ चट्टी में दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण हेलीकॉप्टर क्रैश में कुछ लोगों के हताहत होने का अत्यंत दु:खद समाचार प्राप्त हुआ है। राहत और बचाव कार्य हेतु SDRF और जिला प्रशासन की टीम घटनास्थल पर पहुंच चुकी है। इस दु:खद घटना के विस्तृत जांच के आदेश दे दिए गए है।
— Pushkar Singh Dhami (@pushkardhami) October 18, 2022