Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chopper crash in Nagaland; 3 army officials killed; Dead officers are Col PK Pal, Major Nikhil Rana, Major Rakesh Sharma

In a tragic incident, three army officials died in a chopper crash in Nagaland on Wednesday morning. The three officials were on routine sortie to Leimakong of Manipur from 3 Corps headquarters at Rangapahar near Dimapur. The army has set up a court of inquiry into the crash. Three Army officials belonged to the Rangapahar-based 3 Corps Headquarters of the Indian Army were killed in a chopper crash Wednesday morning. The Cheetah chopper, on training sortie crashed while it was flying over Dzukou valley near Kohima in Nagaland. The chopper was on its way from Rangapahar to Leimakong. According to army sources, the chopper lost its contact at around 8.25 AM with its base. The youths from Viswema village first reported a large sound near the area. Immediately, rescue teams from the army’s Zakhama came were rushed. The joint operation of the army, police and local people led to the recovery of the wreckage and bodies of the ill-fated army officials. The three officers have been identified as Col PK Pal, Major Nikhil Rana and Major Rakesh Sharma. The bodies of the three officials were brought to Kohima for post mortem. The mortal remains of the three officials will be given a farewell at the Rangapahar Head Quarter on Thursday. The crash occurred apparently due to bad weather as incessant rain and fog led to very poor visibility in the area. According to the villagers, the chopper was flying very low and it is suspected that it hit the hill before it crashed. The army has already instituted a court of inquiry to find out the cause of the crash. Earlier, in a similar incident that took place in the late nineties, an Army Chopper carrying a Major General and his subordinates on its way to Laiemakong in Manipur also went missing while it was crossing over to Manipur and crashed near Porba village under Phek district of Nagaland. In another incident a Pawanhans chopper on its regular flight also crashed near Kohima in the early part of the nineties.


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