Police said a small group of the chief minister’s family, security personnel and local officials touched the site after an arduous four hour trek near Lobotang, 30 km north of the 13,700 feet Sela Pass in Tawang district.
The wreckage had been sighted around 10 a.m. by a group of civilians led by a Village Defence Party (VDP).
“Some family members were able to identify the chief minister’s mutilated body. According to information, the four other bodies were badly mutilated and charred almost beyond recognition,” the official told IANS.
Efforts are now on to get back the five bodies to the nearest accessible point but this could take close to seven hours.
“It would be an uphill climb, and the terrain is rough and slippery,” Kiren Rijiju, adviser to the chief minister, told IANS.
As news of the sighting of the wreckage spread, a pall of gloom descended in the mountainous state.
“This is heartbreaking. We are sad as the chief minister was a visionary and honest politician. His death has shaken us,” moaned Bamang Tago, a civil rights campaigner.
The Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying the chief minister and four others went missing after it took off from Tawang at 9.50 a.m. Saturday.
The last radio contact with the ground was about 20 minutes after take off as it flew over the Sela Pass along the Chinese border.