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Kedarnath chopper crash: 7 dead; CM orders probe

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Kedarnath, Oct 18: A helicopter carrying Kedarnath pilgrims from Phata crashed on Tuesday and seven people including two pilots were killed in the incident.

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The Aryan helicopter crashed near Phata after taking off from Kedarnath. It was on its way to Guptkashi and was to cover 33 km. Six bodies have been recovered, so far, according to a report in NDTV.

"Seven people died in the crash. The incident took place around 11:40 am. The chopper took place from Kedarnath and was heading towards Guptkashi. The cause of the accident will be known after a proper investigation," C Ravi Shankar, CEO, Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority, told ANI.

A helicopter carrying Kedarnath pilgrims crashes, casualties feared

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his anguish over the incident. "Anguished by the helicopter crash in Uttarakhand. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families," his office said in a tweet.

Fog and poor visibility are said to be the reason for the crash. The weather was Cloudy over Garud Chatti. In a valley near Garud Chatti, a loud noise was heard and the helicopter caught fire, ANI reported.

"The helicopter crash in Kedarnath is extremely unfortunate. We are in touch with the state government to ascertain the magnitude of the loss, and are constantly monitoring the situation," Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a tweet.

Aryan Aviation Pvt. Ltd provides heli services in this region, according to a report in Hindustan Times.

"As per the preliminary information received, a Bell 407 helicopter registered as VT-RPN belonging to a Delhi-based Aryan Aviation crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi," the daily quoted an official as saying.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a detailed probe into the crash of a helicopter near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami has expressed condolences over the helicopter crash at Garuda Chatti near Kedarnath.

"SDRF & district administration teams have reached the spot for relief and rescue work. A detailed inquiry has been ordered into this tragic incident," he tweeted.

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