Day III: No trace of missing chopper

Our Correspondent

Itagar, Aug 6: Intensive air and ground search operations failed to trace the Pawan Hans chopper on the third day today, even as Sukhoi conducted two rounds of recce to scan the areas through Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) equipments.

The ground search operation which began at 4.30 AM was suspended after darkness. The operation was concentrated in two suspected areas near Dadam village as per images obtained through SAR equipments, Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi said.

 "Two rounds of recce were conducted by Sukhoi from Bareilly during the day while five choppers of the Indian Air Force and Army conducted aerial search," he informed, adding more recce would be performed tomorrow in the suspected locations.

Army, IRBn, locals, panchayat leaders and district administration officials were engaged in ground search operations coordited by Army and district administration from Khonsa, the headquarters of Tirap district.

The Dauphin chopper of state-run Pawan Hans went missing with Tirap DC Kamlesh Kumar Joshi and two pilots - Captain M S Brar and Captain Rajeev Hoskote, after it took-off from Khonsa in Tirap district at around 10.45 am on Tuesday.

Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a prelimiry inquiry into the incident, while Pawan Hans authorities deputed teams from New Delhi and Guwahati and ordered an interl inquiry.

"The search teams have zeroed in at a mountainous site above the river Terun Ku between Dadam village and Sanliam village. The search in that particular area has been propelled by some authentic sources received from some eyewitnesses belonging to Dadam and Thinsa villages," district information and public relation officer (DIPRO) D Bosai, who is a part of the rescue team informed.

Every effort was being made to locate the site of the place from where a blast like sound emated on Tuesday, he added.

Minister Wanglin Lowangdong and MLA Wanglam Sawin are closely monitoring the rescue operation and visited Thinsa and Sanliam villages on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation minister Thangwang Wangham was hopeful that the missing chopper would be spotted soon given the tremendous hard work put in by the all and urged the district administration to leave no levity in putting the best foot forward to locate the chopper and the passengers. He has also assured all possible help from his side.

The district administration has also announced incentives for the villagers engaged in search and rescue operation.

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