Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bell 407, VT-PHH, Pawan Hans Helicopters (PHHI): Accident occurred December 30, 2012 near Katra, Reasi district, Jammu and Kashmir

Police personnel near the crashed helicopter carrying five Vaishno Devi pilgrims which made an emergency landing near Katra.

Five Vaishno Devi pilgrims from Delhi and the pilot of a Pawan Hans helicopter that they were travelling in from Katra were injured when the helicopter crash-landed at Chamera village in Reasi district on Sunday afternoon.

 While the injured pilgrims have been identified as Anita Puri, Meenakshi, Arun Kumar, Arti Devi and Raj Rani, the pilot has been identified as Captain A S Parmar. Another person on board, Chetan Kumar, escaped unhurt.

The helicopter was flying from Katra to Sanji Chhat enroute to Vaishno Devi shrine at that time, said Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi, Raghubir Singh.

Sources said the helicopter was nearly 400 metres short of Sanji Chhat when its rear router suddenly broke and fell apart.

The victims have sustained spinal and head injuries, a doctor at Katra hospital said. While Captain Parmar and Anita Puri were airlifted to Army’s Command Hospital at Udhampur and Government Medical College at Jammu respectively, the others were taken to the Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu by road.

Villagers rushed to the spot to bring victims out of the wreckage. Senior officials from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, district administration and state police officers also reached at the site to supervise the rescue operations.

A two-member team of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will visit the spot, where the helicopter made an emergency landing, on Monday to inquire into the causes of the mishap.

However, this is not the first time a mishap has occurred on the Katra-Sanji Chhat corridor enroute to Vaishno Devi shrine.

Following mishaps in 1988 and 2007 due to technical snags, locals from Katra and near-by areas have repeatedly complained that helicopter operators are not adhering to the route prescribed by DGCA between Katra and Sanji Chhat.

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