Congress Working Committee to meet as PMO confirms death of Andhra CM, four others (Lead:-YSR)

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New Delhi/Hyderabad, Sep.3 (ANI): The Working Committee of the Congress Party will meet in the national capital on Thursday to decide on the leadership issue in Andhra Pradesh after the Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had died in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.

The PMO said that five bodies had been found at the site where Reddy's chopper wreckage was discovered atop a hill about 40 nautical miles from Andhra Pradesh's Kurnoool district.

Along with YSR, four others had died in the crash. They are: Dr P Subramanium, the special secretary to the Chief Minister; ASC Wesley, Chief Security Officer; and two pilots.Group Captain SK Bhatia and Captain MS Reddy.

Various Congress leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, joined a cabinet meeting to discuss the incident and it was confirmed that Gandhi and the Prime Minister will be going to Hyderabad to condole the loss and oversee funeral arrangements.

The government on Thursday confirmed that the chopper was located atop the Serai Salem hill, at a distance 40 nautical miles (70 kms) east of Kurnool. Official sources also confirmed that the chopper had indeed crash landed on the hillside.

The helicopter carrying YSR Reddy, two of his staff and two pilots dropped off the radar on Wednesday morning due to bad weather conditions over the Naxal and tiger-infested Nalamalla forests.

The CM left Hyderabad onboard a six-seater Bell chopper at 8.35 a.m. bound for Chittoor.

Soon after the chopper lost contact, multiple agencies of the state launched a massive hunt for possible wreckage in the desolate terrain. By evening, it expanded into the country's biggest-ever search operation with satellites in the sky joining remote sensing aircraft, fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, troops on the ground and even barefoot deer-hunting tribals with bows and arrows. (ANI)

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