Day 14: search for missing copter continues

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Jagdalpur (CG), Aug 16 (UNI) Search for the Chhattisgarh government-hired helicopter with four people on board continued on the 14th day today after it went missing on a flight from Hyderabad to Raipur via Jagdalpur on August 3.

Aerial search for the missing helicopter, belonging to Raina Aviation company, yielded no results in the naxalite-affected Bijapur and Dantewada districts bordering Andhra Pradesh.

Keeping in view the possibility that the aircraft might have strayed away from its flight route, aerial search by a helicopter was carried out in the dense forest areas in Nagari and Sihawa areas of Dhamtari district today, official sources said.

Besides, about 300 police personnel continued the search on foot in Dantewada and Bijapur districts.

Besides pilot V P Singh, co-pilot, an engineer and a technician were on board the helicopter, when contact with air traffic control was snapped 30 minutes after it left Hyderabad.

Search for it began as the aircraft did not land here on schedule for refuelling on its onward journey to Raipur.

The helicopter was hired to take Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam and other BJP leaders for a programme of BJP President Rajnath Singh in neighbouring Jharkhand state.

In July last year, the Chhattisgarh government helicopter ''Maina'' went missing in bad weather on Bhopal-Raipur flight and its wreckage was found few days later in a mountainous area in Balaghat district on Chhattisgarh-MP border. All four occupants were charred to death.

UNI XC-SP 1550

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