Top official goes missing in helicopter in Arunachal Pradesh



By NewsGram Staff Writer

A helicopter carrying Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar Joshi, two pilots and a crew member went missing on Tuesday in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district, officials said.

Chief Minister Nabam Tuki expressed concern over the incident and asked officials to intensify the search for the chopper after it remained untraced for hours.

The Pawan Hans helicopter went missing around 11.15 a.m. Officials said it took off from Khonsa an hour earlier.

The helicopter was on a routine passenger sortie to Longding, and was to return to Mohanbari airport in Dibrugarh when contact was lost.

The Air Traffic Control received the last signal from the chopper near Deomali in Tirap district, officials said.

The chief minister convened an emergency meeting with ministers and officials while the air force, the army and paramilitary forces also joined the search operation.

“The operation was called off (in the evening) and will resume tomorrow (Wednesday),” an official said.

In 2011, then Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four other people died after their Pawan Hans chopper crashed at a remote location in the state.

A few days later, another helicopter crashed while landing in Tawang, killing 16 people.

Following the crashes, commercial chopper services were stopped in the state till 2013 when Pawan Hans restarted service in Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the region.