Smoke billows after an advanced light helicopter of the Indian Army crashed at Migging in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 | Photo: PTI
Itanagar: Four Army personnel were killed in an defence chopper crash in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday and search is on for a fifth person, a defence spokesperson said.
The bodies of the four Army personnel have been recovered from the crash site in a densely wooded mountain area 35 km from the borders with China, he said.
The cause of the crash is not yet known and details are being ascertained, he said.
The advanced light helicopter (ALH) WSI, carrying five Army personnel including two pilots, was on regular sorties when it crashed at 10.43 am around Migging, around 25 km south of Tuting, the district headquarters.
"There were five Army personnel onboard. The mortal remains of four personnel were recovered from the crash site so far. Search for the other person is on,” Tezpur based defence spokesperson Lt Col A S Walia said.
A joint search and rescue operation by the Army and Air Force was immediately launched in which a MI-17 and two ALHs along with three columns of the Indian Army were deployed and the four bodies were found, he said
The district police sent a team to the spot for the search operation, Upper Siang superintendent of police Jummar Basar said.
The Army chopper, also known as HAL Rudra, had taken off from Likabali in Lower Siang district. The HAL Rudra is an attack helicopter manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Army. It is a weapon system integrated (WSI) Mk-IV variant of the Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and is the first armed helicopter produced indigenously in India.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju who, represents the frontier state in Parliament, expressed shock over the incident.
“Received very disturbing news about Indian Army's Advanced Light Helicopter crash in Upper Siang District in Arunachal Pradesh. My deepest prayers,” he tweeted.
This is the second accident by an Army helicopter in Arunachal Pradesh this month.
A Cheetah helicopter crashed in Tawang district on October 5 and claimed the life of one of its two pilots.
According to records, Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed 13 crashes since 1995 and 47 people were killed in them.