JAMMU, Aug 4: The search operation to trace the missing pilots of an Army helicopter that crashed into the Ranjit Sagar dam lake in Basohli tehsil of Kathua district yesterday morning resumed early today but till late this evening there was no trace of the pilot and co-pilot.
Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) of Army ‘Dhruv’ had crashed into Ranjit Sagar dam yesterday morning when the pilot and co-pilot were on board. It was on routine security recce of the area.
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SSP Kathua Ramesh Kotwal told the Excelsior that Special divers of Army and deep sea divers of Navy were engaged in search and rescue operation but there was no trace of both the missing pilots when the searches were suspended this evening.
Search operation will resume tomorrow morning, he added.
Police and other security agencies are also assisting in the searches but only deep sea diver of Navy and special divers of Army were conducting the operation inside deep water of the dam. Water is around 200 to 250 feet deep in the dam at the site of crash.
Some pieces of the helicopter were found yesterday after divers and boats were mobilised for the search operation. The parts include some front portion of helicopter, helmets, bags and shoes.
Eyewitnesses had said the chopper was flying over the dam when it suddenly came down and crashed into the water with thud.
Sources said Army, Navy and other security agencies were making all out efforts to trace the pilot and co-pilot.
As reported, the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter had taken off from Mamun Cantonment in Pathankot at 10.30 am yesterday with pilot and co-pilot on board on security recce ahead of Independence Day and drone threats but crashed minutes later into deep waters of Ranjit Sagar dam at village Purthu in Basohli tehsil of Kathua district.