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Army chopper crash lands in JK; Northern Army commander, six others suffer injuries

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JAMMU (PTI): Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and six others sustained minor injuries after a helicopter carrying them crash-landed in Jammu's Poonch district on Thursday following a technical snag, officials said.

"The army commander was visiting units in Poonch sector when the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) developed a technical snag and crash landed this afternoon," Brigadier General Staff (BGS) RK Suresh told PTI.

The incident occurred on the banks of a river in Bedar area.

The official said that all seven passengers and crew members in the chopper sustained minor injuries and they were evacuated to the Command Hospital, Udhampur, where they were kept under observation.

He said that they had sustained blunt and superficial injuries but they were stable and out of danger.

"It is a miracle", said one officer, while noting the damage caused to the chopper, pictures of which had gone viral on social media.

Local villagers, who arrived first on the scene, also assisted the Army in the evacuation of those injured, the BGS said, adding, "We salute them".

A defence spokesman had said earlier in a statement, "A helicopter with Army Commander Northern Command on board, has executed a forced landing on account of technical snag in general area of Poonch."

The army general and others were taken to a nearby army medical centre for examination first, and later flown to Udhampur based northern command hospital, the officials said.

Lt Gen Singh was on a visit to forward areas of XVI corps which has been witnessing cross border shelling from Pakistan side quite regularly these days.

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