Sunday, July 15, 2007

State helicopter goes missing......

THE CHHATTISGARH state helicopter 'Maina' was reported missing with four on board, including the pilot, on Saturday after it took off from the Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, where it had gone on a routine maintenance check-up.

According to information available, the chopper took off from Bhopal at 11.45 am and is believed to have lost contact with Air Traffic Control, Bhopal, at around 12.25 pm. Sources say it was last sighted over Balaghat before it was reported missing. Balaghat in MP is a naxal-infested region.

It was further learnt that the copter was being flown by Pilot A.S. Siddhu and Co-Pilot Vikram Sawekar. It also had on board a technician and an engineer. Sources told HT that the copter was to make halts at Hoshangabad, Narsingpur in MP and Nagpur in Maharashtra before touching down at Raipur. State government officials were not available for comment. Till the filing of this report, there was no trace of the missing copter.

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