Jharkhand CM survives nasty chopper crash (Evening Lead)

May 9th, 2012 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, May 9 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda suffered multiple injuries Wednesday when the helicopter in which he was travelling with his wife developed a technical snag and toppled to its side after crash landing at the airport here.

Munda and his wife Meera, who were on their way to Saraikela Kharsawa district to participate in a programme, were taken to hospital along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Barkuwar Gagrai, security officer Manoj Singh and pilot B.K. Singh and a co-pilot.

Munda suffered a right ankle fracture as well as injuries on his chest, right hand, neck and back, hospital sources said. His ankle has been plastered.

All other five also suffered multiple injuries on neck, spine, ankle, chest and back, said P.D. Sinha, a doctor. All of them were declared out of danger.

“He (Munda) is out of danger,” Jharkhand Labour Minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary told reporters.

Munda was scheduled to inaugurate a power station at Kuchai in Seraikela Kharswa district.

According to Gagrai, the pilot realized on reaching Kuchai in Saraikela Kharsawa that there was a problem and he immediately radioed the Ranchi Air Traffic Control seeking permission to return.

But the landing effort failed four times, and so he hovered in the air for a while to exhaust the fuel.

As there was no fuel, the chopper did not catch fire after toppling. “The pilot showed wisdom,” Gagrai said.

The chopper took off at 11.45 a.m. and crash landed at 12.25 p.m.

It landed on the ground from a height of about 25 feet in the air, police sources said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an enquiry.

The Aryanan Aviation chopper Augusta 009 was said to be 20 years old. In April, the chopper carrying Munda had to make an emergency landing in Jamshedpur after it developed a snag.

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