In a heart wrenching incident, 3 people died on Wednesday (August 21) afternoon in a helicopter crash. The chopper carrying relief materials for the flood-affected victims of Uttarakhand crashed in Uttarkashi district after it got entangled in the overhead electricity wires, officials said.
The chopper belonged to Heritage Aviation. It had on board three people- Rajpal, the pilot with co-pilot Kaptan Lal and Ramesh Sawar, a local who was helping in the rescue mission, said Praveen Alok, media in charge of State Disaster Response Force.
“All the three persons on-board the helicopter has died in the crash. Their bodies have been recovered,” he added.
“The chopper involved in rescue works under state civil aviation department had flown from Dehradun with relief material for Arakot village in Uttarkashi as it is the base camp for ongoing rescue operations there. After dropping some relief material there, it was heading towards another affected village named Moldi when it got entangled in power lines and crashed,” said a state official to media personnel.
Four choppers including one of Indian Air Force have been operating in 10 helipads in the rescue operations after heavy rains lashed villages over the weekend, the official added.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel who were involved in relief work spotted the chopper crashing and rushed to the spot, according to media reports.
So far, at least 15 people were killed and property worth at least Rs 80-100 crore were destroyed in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi, the worst-hit district in the state, in the past few days.
About 12 villages in Uttarkhand were hit by torrential rain, the worst affected includes Arakot, Makodi, Tikochi and Sanail villages in Uttarkashi, about 150km away from Dehradun on Sunday (August 18).
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday (August 20) visited the flood affected areas.
Other north Indian states such as Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana too grappled with the impact of heavy rain. Several tourists and a film crew were stranded in higher reaches of Himachal and had to be rescued. In Delhi, Yamuna is flowing above danger mark forcing evacuation of people living along the banks of the river.