Search teams spot bodies, wreckage of missing chopper

Itanagar, Aug 12 (IANS) Search and rescue teams looking for a helicopter that went missing in Arunachal Pradesh with three people on board have spotted mutilated bodies, an official said on Wednesday.

The bodies were spotted along with the wreckage of the Pawan Hans chopper that went missing on August 4 in a deep gorge in a remote forested area in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi confirmed this on Wednesday but said it will take time to recover the bodies due to the hilly terrain.

“The search team had spotted the bodies amid the wreckage today. The operation is on to recover the bodies now. We are trying to bring it to Khonsa first. However, it is likely to take some time due to the difficult mountainous terrain,” he said.

Paratroopers of the Indian Army and some mountaineers will be pressed into service on Thursday to find out the Pawan Hans chopper and its passengers that went missing in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh last week.

It may be mentioned here that the aerial search operations have located the main portion of the wreckage of the Pawan Hans chopper lying in a gorge between two hills on Tuesday but the steep downward climb has made it difficult for the rescue teams to reach to it.

The wreckage has been located between Pongkong and Longliang villages in Tirap district. The bodies were burnt badly as the chopper seems to have exploded following the crash.

After spotting the main portion of the wreckage of the chopper, the government had used the services of army’s paratroopers and mountaineers to reach to the wreckage on Wednesday.

The chopper went missing it took off from Khonsa in Tirap district on August 4.

Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar Joshi and two pilots of the chopper were on its way to Longding on a routine sortie and it was supposed to return to Mohanbari airport in Dibrugarh.

Hectic search operations have been on to locate the missing helicopter and its three boarders by the IAF choppers, Army, the Assam Rifles, Arunachal Pradesh police personnel and local villagers since the last eight days.

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