Pilot dead, another injured as army chopper crashes in Bandipora

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Pilot dead, another injured as army chopper crashes in Bandipora

Srinagar, March 11: An Army Cheetah helicopter on its way to pick up sick BSF personnel crashed near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir's Gurez Sector on Friday, killing its pilot and injuring the co-pilot, officials said.

The injured co-pilot was rushed to a medical facility, they said, adding that his condition was stated to be critical. The two pilots belonged to Army Aviation Corps and were of the rank of major.

The helicopter was about to land at a forward post near the LoC but "drifted away" because of the weather conditions, an official told PTI. The crash took place near Gujran Nallah in the Gurez sector in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

The injured co-pilot is being treated at the army's 92 base hospital in Srinagar, an Indian Army spokesperson said.

According to officials, the Indian Army's Cheetah helicopter was on a routine mission to evacuate an ailing soldier from a forward post in the Gurez sector when the crash took place.

''The helicopter lost communication with the forward post at Gujran, Baraub. A search operation on foot was immediately launched by the Indian Army, alongside search and rescue helicopters which were pressed into service, the spokesperson said.

The wreckage of the crashed helicopter was found in a snowbound Gujran Nallah area of North Kashmirs Bandipora. Pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter were grievously injured in the crash and were immediately evacuated to 92 base Hospital, Srinagar, the statement added.

Major Sankalp Yadav, 29 years old, who was the co-pilot succumbed to his injuries at 92 Base Hospital.

Yadav was commissioned in 2015 and was a resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan. He is survived by his father.

The Indian Army has initiated an investigation to find out what led to the crash.

''The injured pilot is critical and is presently in ICU at 92 Base Hospital. Events leading to the crash of the helicopter are being ascertained, the spokesperson said.

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