Two pilots were killed when a Cheetah helicopter of the Army aviation corps crash-landed in the Shiv Ghar Dhar area of Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district on Tuesday morning.
The chopper had taken off from Nagrota, the headquarters of 16 Corps of the Indian Army, this morning on a training sortie. As per initial reports, it is believed that the mishap took place due to less visibility in the area.
"Today during a training sortie in Patnitop area, Indian Army Cheetah Helicopter crash-landed in Shiv Garh Dhar area in Udhampur district. Two pilots have been injured and evacuated to the hospital," the defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand had said earlier in the day.
"Both the pilots were critically injured during helicopter crash landing, evacuated to the nearest medical facility but later succumbed to their injuries," the defence spokesperson mentioned in the latest handout.
As per the official Twitter handle of the Army, two pilots namely Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on 21 Sept 2021 at Patnitop.
Some villagers were the first responders to the incident and they evacuated the injured pilots from the mangled aircraft.
#LtGenYKJoshi, #ArmyCdrNC and all ranks #salute the bravehearts Major Rohit Kumar & Major Anuj Rajput who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on 21 Sept 2021 at #Patnitop and offer deepest condolences to their families.@adgpi@Tri_Service@Whiteknight_IA@IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/4QC3ccefZi— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) September 21, 2021
Second chopper crash J&K
This is the second chopper crash in Jammu and Kashmir during the last two months. Earlier, the Rudra helicopter had crashed into the Ranjit Sagar Dam lake in Kathua district on August 3 around 10.43 am. The chopper was carrying out a training sortie that involved low-level flying over the lake.
The ill-fated helicopter belonged to the Army's Pathankot-based 254 ALH-WSI squadron, which had earlier lost a Rudra chopper in January 2021.
On August 15, after 12 days of the crash, the body of one of the two pilots of the ill-fated Rudra helicopter was recovered from the lake.
On August 11, on the ninth day of intense searches since the helicopter crashed into Ranjit Sagar Dam in the Basohli area of Kathua district, the rescuers had located the wreckage of the machine at a depth of nearly 80 metres in the vast lake.
Union Minister expresses grief
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh expressed grief to receive the news of the Army Helicopter crash around the Patnitop region. He said that despite prompt and best possible aid, the precious lives of pilots could not be saved.
"Saddened to receive the news of the death of both the Pilots who were injured this morning in the Army Helicopter crash in the Patnitop region of JammuAndKashmir. Despite prompt and best possible aid, they could not be saved. My deep condolences to the bereaved families", Dr. Singh tweeted.
Saddened to receive the news of death of both the Pilots who were injured this morning in the Army Helicopter crash in #Patnitop region of #JammuAndKashmir. Despite prompt and best possible aid, they could not be saved. My deep condolences to the bereaved families.— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) September 21, 2021