Chopper traceless for seventh day in Chattisgarh

August 9th, 2008 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Raipur, Aug 9 (IANS) A Chhattisgarh-bound private chopper that went missing Aug 3 is traceless even on the seventh day after it took off from Hyderabad, police said Saturday. The Bell-430 Ran Air chopper was scheduled to land at Jagdalpur, the district headquarter of Bastar, for refuelling en route to Raipur but went missing. It had on board four people - a pilot, a co-pilot, an engineer and a technician.

“In a last ditch attempt we have begun mapping Bailadila hills in Dantewada district Saturday by a helicopter where we have indication that the chopper crashed but no clue were found till late (Saturday) evening,” Rahul Sharma, district superintendent of police leading the search operation, told IANS.

He added that the thick forested Bailadila hills is spread out in about 30 km areas and is a Maoist stronghold.

He said the search team will fly over Bailadila range Sunday morning if the weather permits.

Besides Chhattisgarh police’s surveillance helicopter, two choppers of the Indian Air Force and two of Ran Air are also engaged in search operations. The district administration has announced a reward of Rs.100,000 to anyone providing information about the helicopter.

The helicopter was booked by the Chhattisgarh government to take Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam from Raipur to Ranchi Aug 4, where Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh too was scheduled to use the chopper for party functions in Jharkhand.

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