Itanagar, March 16
A Cheetah helicopter of the Indian Army, with two pilots on board, crashed near Mandala in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday morning, a defence spokesperson said.
The chopper, carrying a lieutenant and a major, had taken off from Sange village in the district at 9 am and was headed for Missamari in Assam’s Sonitpur district.
The helicopter, which was flying an operational sortie, lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) around 9.15 am, Lt Colonel Mahendra Rawat said.
“It crashed near Mandala, west of Bomdila. Search parties have been sent to the spot,” he said.
Rohit Rajbir Singh, the superintendent of police, Special Investigation Cell (SIC), explained that villagers had found the crashed chopper ablaze in Dirang, and informed district officials.
“Villagers from Bangjalep at Dirang located the chopper around 12.30 pm. It is still burning,” Singh said.
The area has no mobile connectivity and the weather is extremely foggy with visibility as low as five meters, he added.