BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: A Pawans Hans chopper today caught fire and crashed into a gorge while landing in Tawang Town, Arunachal Pradesh, killing 17 people, authorities said.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the helicopter had 18 passengers on board, including two minors and 5 crew members. The actual number of fatalities and injured are being ascertained. Search and rescue measures are in progress.
The ministry said that the helicopter crash landed due to likely wind shear and down draft while landing and caught fire on impact to the ground. Officers from DGCA have rushed to the site of the accident and an inquiry ordered into the accident.
The director general along with a team of senior officials would be visiting the accident site tomorrow. The government is likely to set up a Committee for investigation into the accident.
The helicopter was manufactured in 1996 and its C of A is valid upto August 28, 2011.
Arunachal Pradesh Civil Aviation Commissioner Hage Khoda said that at least six people, including the pilot and the co-pilot, were injured in the crash, which happened at around 2 p.m.
He said an inquiry had been ordered into the accident.
Pawan Hans operates daily helicopter flights between Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Guwahati in neighboring Assam.