Arunachal wreckage is finally located by localsMay 4th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS
Itanagar, May 4 (IANS) After four days of search by over 3,000 security personnel and air force helicopters and Sukhois, it was a group of local tribal people who finally spotted the wreckage of the missing chopper and identified the body of Arunachal Pradesh Chief minister Dorjee Khandu.
Even as Indian Air Force choppers helicopters hovered over the cloudy skies, a small team of tribals led by community leader Phukten telephoned the control room in Itanagar to inform the sighting of the wreckage.
They also identified Khandu.
This was around 10 a.m. Wednesday — exactly 96 hours after the Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying the chief minister and four others went missing after taking off from Tawang at 9.50 a.m. Saturday.
The location of the wreckage was identified as Lobotang, 30 km north of the 13,700 feet Sela Pass in Tawang district. All five bodies were said to be mutilated and almost charred beyond recognition.
“Some family members could identify the chief minister’s body. The four other bodies were badly mutilated and charred,” a police officer told IANS here.
Efforts are now on to get the five bodies to the nearest accessible point. But this might take close to seven hours.
“It would be possibly on Thursday that we will be able to get the bodies back at the first accessible point as the terrain is rough and it is snowing heavily,” Kiren Rijiju, adviser to the chief minister, told IANS.
Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended in the mountainous state with news of the wreckage being found.
“The news is heartbreaking and we are sad as the chief minister was a real visionary and honest politician. His death has shaken us,” said Bamang Tago, a civil rights campaigner.
The body of the chief minister would be flown into Itanagar Thursday.
The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) findings about metallic objects at a place called Nagarjiji area near the Sela Pass in Tawang has gone awfully wrong, with the actual crash site located far away.
“It would take five to six days of trekking from Nagarjiji to Lobotang and it has exposed the failure of Indian technology,” said Bamang Tago. “We need to rethink and rework our technology.”
- Tribals find crashed chopper, Khandu's mutilated body (Night Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Crash site found, Khandu body identified (Afternoon Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Operation on to retrieve Arunachal chief minister's body - May 05, 2011
- Dorjee Khandu's body arrives in Itanagar - May 05, 2011
- Dorjee Khandu's body brought to Itanagar, last rites Friday (Lead) - May 05, 2011
- Dorjee Khandu's body being brought to Itanagar - May 05, 2011
- Arunachal chief minister's helicopter crash site located: Chidambaram - May 04, 2011
- Five bodies, wreckage of Dorjee Khandu's chopper found (Second Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Wreckage of Arunachal chief minister's chopper found (Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Rights group demands Arunachal governor's recall - May 06, 2011
- Villagers found Khandu chopper wreckage: ITBP official - May 04, 2011
- Arunachal chief minister may be dead: Chidambaram - May 04, 2011
- With ISRO lead, rescuers search for missing chopper - May 03, 2011
- Army team trekking to wreckage site in Arunachal: Chidambaram (Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Concrete details of missing chopper by evening: Mukul Wasnik (Lead) - May 03, 2011
Tags: accessible point, as350, chief minister, civil rights campaigner, cloudy skies, community leader, honest politician, indian air force, indian space research, indian space research organization, isro, metallic objects, mountainous state, pawan hans, security personnel, seven hours, space research organization, tawang, tribals, wreckage