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Amarinder's copter meets with accident, all safe

Written by: Staff

Gurdaspur, Sept 12 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and two Cabinet Ministers had a miraculous escape when their helicopter hit an overhead live electricity wire at Rajowa village due to poor visibility in the district this afternoon.

Capt Singh and his ministerial colleagues -- PWD minister Pratap Singh Bajwa and local bodies minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh -- escaped unhurt in the mishap.

Others who were on board the seven seater Pawan Hans chopper were DIG (CM security) Khube Ram, SP R K Bhargav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister Amardeep Singh and the two pilots.

According to Batala SSP L K Yadav the incident occurred as soon as the chopper took off from the outskirts of Rajowa for Sri Hargobindpur. Due to poor visibility caused by a heavy dust cover, the flying machine touched the 11-KV overhead electricity wire at about 25-feet and immediately came down to the ground.

The rotors of the helicopter which were damaged snapped the high tension wire. The chopper touched the ground and came to a halt after rolling for some distance. The passengers led by the Chief Minister disembarked safely.

Mr Yadav said that the snapped wire did not cause any harm as the area had been cordoned off by the police after the Capt Singh arrived at the village to lay the foundation stone of a 66-KV power sub-station. Apparently, the procedure of wetting the dusty ground around the makeshift helipad had not been followed properly, resulting in the dust haze.

Later, the Chief Minister left for Sri Hargobindpur by road to address a Vikas rally of the Congress party. After the rally Capt Singh and the two ministers left the area in another chopper which was requisitioned from Chandigarh.

Before leaving, the Chief Minister said ''I thank God for saving our lives.'' UNI HS JN MSJ BD1716

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