Army Chopper Crashes in Udhampur, 2 Pilots Killed


Jammu: Two pilots were killed when an Army helicopter crash-landed in a dense forest near Patnitop in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district on Tuesday, officials said.

"Today, during a training sortie in Patnitop area, Indian Army's Cheetah helicopter crash-landed in Shiv Garh Dhar area in the district," a Jammu-based defence spokesman said.

He said that two pilots -- Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput -- were injured in the incident and evacuated to the nearest medical facility but they succumbed later.

Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt Gen Y K Joshi paid rich tributes to the slain officers.

"Army Commander, Northern Command, and all other ranks salute the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on 21 September 2021 at Patnitop and offer deepest condolences to their families," the Army's Northern Command said in a tweet.

Officials said the incident reportedly occurred between 10.30 am to 10.45amwhen the chopper was caught in bad weather, officials said, adding the helicopter belonged to the Army Aviation Corps.

There was a thick fog over Patnitop when the incident occurred, they said.

Local residents were the first to reach the site and they pulled out the pilots from the severely damaged helicopter, they added.

Police, along with the Army, rushed to the scene to join the rescue operation and evacuated the injured pilots to a hospital, the officials said.

Pertinently, this is the second incident of chopper crash in Jammu division in less than two months. Earlier on August 3, army’s Rudra helicopter crashed into Ranjit Sagar Dam in Kathua district leaving both pilot and co-pilot dead. Their bodies were recovered weeks after the crash. (PTI)

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