Helicopter crash: Pilots may have saved many lives

Nashik, Feb 2 (PTI) The presence of mind shown by thetwo pilots of an Army helicopter which crashed here today in aresidential area may have saved many lives, a police officialsaid.

Both the pilots died in the crash.

"Had the pilots bailed out immediately after noticingfault in rotor blades, they would have saved their own lives,but the helicopter would have certainly crashed into a denselypopulated area, killing many more," he said.

The pilots -- Major Atul Garje and Captain BhanuPratap Gupta -- averted a major tragedy, by steering thehelicopter towards a vacant plot of land, he said.

Major Garje hailed from Pathardi tehsil in Ahmednagardistrict and was an alumnus of Sainik School, Satara. He wasblessed with a daughter a few months ago.

The pilots almost managed an emergency landing beforethe rotor blade of the helicopter hit the terrace of abungalow, the official said.

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