Copter suspected to be crashed: Police

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Jagdalpur, Aug 6(UNI) The Central government has also joined the search for the Bell 436 helicopter, which went missing with four people on board on August 3 on its way from Hyderabad to Raipur, even as the police suspect that it might have crashed in bad weather in the forest areas near Bailadila in Dantewara district on Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border.

The helicopter carrying two pilots, an engineer and a technician was hired by the Chhattisgarh government from Raina Aviation company to ferry Home Minister Ramvichar Netam and other leaders for a programme of BJP President Rajnath Singh in Jharkhand.

Both the Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh governments had deployed helicopters in search of the missing copter, but could not succeed due to bad weather, as the area was receiving heavy rains, Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma said, adding the aircraft is suspected to have crashed in the forest.

Home Ministry's Joint Secretary V M Gaur arrived here and held talks with senior police officers to pace up the search operations.

Several police teams had fanned out on foot in search of the white and green-coloured aircraft.

The family of pilot V P Singh also proceeded to Dantewara apparently unsatisfied with the government efforts to trace the missing aircraft.

Senior police officers admitted that heavy rains and fog in the area was hampering search.

Besides, pilot V P Singh, co-pilot R Gaur, engineer Santosh and a technician were aboard the aircraft,while the Raina Aviation Company had announced a reward of Rs one lakh for locating it.

In a similar incident in July last year, a helicopter of Chhattisgarh government, carrying four people on board, went missing on way to Raipur from Bhopal after a routine checkup.

After a few days search, its remains and the charred bodies were located with the help of a farmer's pet dog in a mountainous region in Balaghat district on MP-Chhattisgarh border.

UNI XC-SP ATI KN1833

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