Arunachal Pradesh CM on board Pawan Hans chopper goes missing

April 30th, 2011 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Itanagar, Apr 30 (ANI): A Pawan Hans Helicopter flying from Tawang to Itanagar with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has gone missing since 10 a.m. today.

The helicopter left from Tawang in the morning and was scheduled to reach Itanagar at 11: 30 a.m, as it takes 70-75 minutes to reach the state capital.

“The Pawan Hans chopper took off in the morning with Chief Minister and two to three other officials. The chopper took off from Tawang and was to land at Itanagar. We are bit worried as we don’t have any clear cut information about any emergency landing,” said Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Takam Sanjoy

“I tried my best to contact Defence Minister A K Antony so that rescue and relief operations could be started soon,” he added.

A day earlier on April 29, Sanjoy had demanded the Pawan Hans Helicopter Services Limited (PHHL) to deploy a new chopper for the immediate resumption of service on the Guwahati-Tawang route.

The helicopter service on the Guwahati-Tawang route was suspended in the wake of three probes being over a Pawan Hans chopper crash on April 19, killing 17 people and injuring six.

The PHHL has been operating five helicopters across Arunachal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and daily Guwahati-Tawang services for the past nine years. It is one of the major lifelines of the landlocked Arunachal Pradesh.

Sanjoy, who has been vociferously taking up the issue with the Government of India, particularly the Defence Ministry after the MI 17 IAF chopper crash at Tawang on November 19 last year that had killed all 12 defence personnel, including three pilots, said that nothing should to left to chance after the investigation reports are submitted.

He had also called on Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi on April 21 and in a letter demanded to fix the accountability for poor maintenance and mandatory inspections of the chopper services as per DGCA rules. (ANI)

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