The scene in Garud Chatti, Uttarakhand, where a helicopter carrying pilgrims back from the Kedarnath shrine crashed, killing seven people, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.
The scene in Garud Chatti, Uttarakhand, where a helicopter carrying pilgrims back from the Kedarnath shrine crashed, killing seven people, on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.IANS

Uttarakhand: Seven killed in Kedarnath helicopter crash, DGCA begins probe

Rudraprayag, October 18, 2022

A helicopter carrying pilgrims back from the Kedarnath shrine crashed near Garud Chatti in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand today, killing seven people, including the pilot.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation sector regular, has launched a probe into the accident and will send a team to the site of the crash, a senior official said.

The crash ocurred at around 11.40 am, soon after the helicopter took off on its journey.

"Aryan Aviation's Bell-407 helicopter VT-RPN with passengers took off from Kedarnathji Dham for GuptKashi. The weather was cloudy over Garud Chatti. In a valley near Garud Chatti a loud noise was heard and the helicopter caught fire," said the DGCA official.

"As per the preliminary information received, the helicopter crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi, possibly due to bad weather...," said the official.

Teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed to the crash site to join the rescue operations.

Earlier, in August this year, five helicopter operators, who were carrying pilgrims to Kedarnath shrine, were each fined Rs 5 lakh each by the DGCA for not maintaining correct flying records. The regulator also suspended officials from two other operators for three months for flouting safety rules.

IANS

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