Four military personnel dead in helicopter crash in northeast India

April 22nd, 2011 - 11:43 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — Four military personnel bodies on Friday were recovered after their helicopter crashed in northeast India, the Hindu newspaper reported.

An Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv of India’s Army Aviation Corp was reported missing on Thursday after taking off from Sewak Road Base in Siliguri, in the northeastern Indian state of West Bengal.

On Friday, Army helicopters spotted wreckage of an accident in the Shiv Mandir area. Rescuers arrived shortly after and confirmed that the debris was from the missing aircraft.

The bodies of the two pilots and the two soldiers were recovered on site concluding the major search operation launched by the Indian Army one day before. Preliminary reports indicated that the crash may have been caused by bad weather.

An investigation was launched to determine the cause of the accident. The last contact air controllers had with the pilots was around one hour after its takeoff. This was the second accident involving a helicopter in India this week.

On Tuesday, 17 people were killed after a Mi-172 helicopter belonging to Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited crashed while attempting to land at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

The helicopter was carrying 23 people, but the captain and five other people, survived the powerful crash with serious burns and injuries. The reason of the incident remains uncertain.

In the last six years, a total of five accidents involving ALH Druv helicopters have take place. The last incident occurred in 2010 after a Dhruv helicopter team of the Indian Air Force was forced to make a crash landing while rehearsing for an air show.

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