AP CM: Copter details awaited; ISRO images discouraging

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Itanagar, May 3: The wait is still on over the whereabouts of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who went missing since Saturday. While the search and rescue efforts are hampered by turbulent weather, union Minister Mukul Wasnik said that some sort of information will be made available by today (May 3) evening.

The Union Minister for social justice and empowerment was quoted as saying, “We should be able to provide some definite information about the missing helicopter by 4 p.m. with army and paramilitary troopers trained to operate in high altitude areas expected to reach the location pinpointed by the ISRO radar."

Ground search was started on May 3 after ISROs satellite images saw metal parts in the area. But poor weather conditions seem to be playing havoc in the ground search as well. The teams comprising of personnel from army, police, and paramilitary troopers are finding it extremely hard to cover the mountain terrain near Sela Pass. The location of the place zeroed in by the ISRO is called Nagarjiji.

The Arunachal Home Minister, Tako Dabi also expressed anguish over the incident and added, “The terrain is hostile and there is snow as well in some of the stretches, and hence the delay. The teams began moving overnight, but to traverse a distance of one kilometer it is taking about an hour."

Nagarjiji is located at an altitude of 13,700 feet, in Tawang district. The place is accident-prone with a Pawan Hans helicopter crashing recently in Tawang on Apr 19 killing seventeen people and injuring six. There are also strong rumours that the helicopter must have strayed across the Chinese border.

The Pawan Hans helicopter AS350 B-3 carrying the Chief Minister along with four others went missing since Saturday and no communication has been established since then.

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