Dantewada, August 30, 2008: About a month have lapsed but the authorities from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have not succeeded in tracing the Bell-430 helicopter, which went missing from Hyderabad on August 3, last.
“Despite aerial and ground searches, we have no information about the whereabouts of the missing Ranbaxy helicopter,” Bastar Range Inspector General of Police A N Upadhyaya told ChhattisgarhTopNews.Com.
The copter was to land at 4.30 PM at Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar region, on August 3 after its take off from Hyderabad at 3.00 PM but in between it lost contact and ever since various agencies are engaged in unsuccessfully searching the copter, Upadhyaya said.
Forces had been sent to various places spread over districts like Bijapur, Dantewada, Bastar, Kanker, and even Dhamtari but all efforts have yet to give any result, the IGP said.
Even the aerial search was proved fruitless, although helicopters from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh besides Indian Air Force were deployed to trace the missing copter, he said.
State Intelligence Chief Giridhari Nayak also pointed out that the police was taking every information about the location of the copter seriously but on verification so far all have been found incorrect.
Chhattisgarh government had hired the missing helicopter from Ran Air to take its Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam to Jharkhand but before it landed in Raipur to take the VIP, the copter went missing with Chief Pilot Capt V P Singh and Co-Pilot R Gaur and Flight Engineer Santosh Kumar and Technician Ashwini Kumar on board, Chief Pilot of Chhattisgarh Government Squadron Leader Dibya Shankar Mishra said.
The Helicopter took off from Hyderabad at 3.00 PM on August 3 and was supposed to land at regional headquarters of Bastar at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh at 4.30 PM for refuelling, but that never happened, Mishra said.
All contacts with the copter were lost at about 4.00 PM and after that whereabouts of the Bell-430 was not known to either Andhra Pradesh or Chhattisgarh sides, the former IAF fighter-pilot said
The help of the National Remote Sensing Agency had also not yielded any result, officials said adding only ground search can help in tracing the helicopter.
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