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Arunachal CM’s missing chopper traced, Dorjee Khandu safe

Guwahati: The missing chopper of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has been traced to eastern Bhutan and the CM is said to be safe.

Officials said the Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter was forced to make emergency landing in Bhutan due to inclement weather. The chopper had taken off from Tawang at 9.50 am this morning and was originally supposed to land in Itanagar at 11.30 am.

A spokesperson of the Arunachal CM’s office said Dorjee Khandu will be flying to Itanagar on another chopper.

According to Arunachal MP Takam Sanjay, the chopper had lost communication with the ground after crossing the Tezpur airbase in Assam.

The AS350 B-3 helicopter had two pilots and three passengers on board, including the CM and his personal security officer. The third passenger was reported to be the sister of an MLA.

A massive search operation was launched after the chopper went miissing.

The helicopter in question, AS350 B-3, is a single-engine chopper. In case of an engine failure, there are very slim chances of the helicopter making a safe landing.

The incident came just days after another Pawan Hans helicopter crashed in Tawang on April 19, killing 17 people and injuring six.

The Pawan Hans Helicopter Services Limited (PHHL) has been operating five helicopters across Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and daily Guwahati-Tawang services for the past nine years. It is one of the major lifelines of the landlocked Arunachal Pradesh.

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