Two army pilots, soldier killed in air crash (Lead, changing dateline)

August 16th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Aug 16 (IANS) Two pilots of the Indian army and a soldier were killed in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir when a chopper, on a rescue mission to airlift an ailing soldier, crashed. “An army helicopter with pilots Major Padmanabhan and Major S. Ganapathy of an Army Aviation Squadron located at Leh had taken off on a rescue mission Aug 15 to evacuate an army casualty,” a military spokesperson said here Saturday.

“The helicopter, however, lost contact with the air traffic control (ATC) while returning to Leh. Search mission was immediately launched by another helicopter but no contact location of the crashed chopper could be found. The search mission was aborted due to bad weather,” he said.

“On Aug 16 (Saturday) aerial search was relaunched and the crashed helicopter was found near a mountain pass. Both the pilots Major Padmanabhan and Major Ganapathy and the army soldier sepoy E. Narsaih, who was being evacuated, were killed in the accident.”

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