Indian state minister killed in helicopter crash

May 4th, 2011 - 10:58 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — Local search teams on Wednesday found the wreckage of an aircraft that went missing on Saturday morning confirming the death of the chief minister of India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Hindustan Times reported that a team of locals trekked for almost two days to discover the wreckage of the Pawan Hans aircraft carrying the chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four others. The border with Tibetan region of China is barely 20 km (12.42 miles) north of the crash site.

“A team of villagers spotted the wreckage and the bodies. The area is 10-15 km from Luguthang and falls under the chief minister’s constituency Mukto. The villagers had started their trek on Tuesday, but reached the spot in less than the time it would normally take,” government spokesman Jarbom Gamlin said.

The chopper went missing 20 minutes after taking off from Tawang district en route to the state capital Itanagar on April 30. Initial reports said the chopper veered north from its route to avoid bad weather.

Fifty-six-year old Khandu is survived by his four wives and six children. He handled various ministries including veterinary, power and mines before becoming chief minister on 9 April 2007.

On April 21, four military personnel died after their helicopter crashed in the northeastern Indian state of West Bengal. Two days before, 17 people were killed after a helicopter crashed while attempting to land at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

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