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Indian Naval Chetak helicopter crashes, one killed


Navy officials pulling out of water the wreckage of an Indian Naval helicopter Chetak that crashed in Sharada river at Anakapalli, Vishakhapatnam on Wednesday. PTI Photo

VISAKHAPATNAM (PTI): A Chetak helicopter of the Navy Wednesday crashed into a river near Anakapally town, about 50 kilometres from here, killing one person and injuring three others including the pilot.

The victim, Navy diver Kishan Kumar (26) suffered serious injuries in the crash, which apparently occurred after the helicopter hit a high-tension wire, Visakhapatanam (Rural) DSP Vineet Brijlal told PTI. Kumar died at the Anakapally hospital.

The three others, including the pilot, survived the mishap and received minor injuries, he said.

Brijlal, quoting available information, said the mishap occurred when the chopper, belonging to INS Dega here, touched a high-tension wire while flying low near Sarada river bridge.

The personnel were on a routine survey to locate a safe landing place to deal with an emergency situation, he said.

A fisherman who witnessed the crash told police that the chopper, after hitting the electric wire, spun in the air once before plunging into the river.

The locals informed police, who managed to extricate the four Navy personnel from the water and rush them to Anakapally hospital, the DSP said.

Kumar, a petty officer hailing from Patna, suffered head injuries and succumbed to his wounds. His body has been taken to INS Dega for autopsy, another police officer said.

The officer said an investigation into the crash has been ordered by the Navy.

The injured personnel included crew members Lt Commander N Rishikesh (pilot), Lt Tushar Sharma and Sub-Lieutenant Dipika Mishra, an air traffic officer who was on a familiarisation flight.

This is the second crash of a naval aircraft this year. A Kiran Mark II trainer had crashed into a residential building in Hyderabad during an air show on March 3 this year, killing both the pilots.

Today's crash is a second one involving a Chetak of the Navy since 2005.

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