Two Pilots martyred as chopper crashes at Patnitop due to poor visibility

Badly damaged helicopter after crash at Patnitop and (inset) Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput. -Excelsior/K Kumar
Badly damaged helicopter after crash at Patnitop and (inset) Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput. -Excelsior/K Kumar

CoI ordered, second crash in less than 50 days
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 21: Two Pilots were martyred when a Cheetah helicopter they were flying on a training sortie crashed at village Shiv Garh in Patnitop area of Seoj Dhar this morning.
The young Pilots were on training sortie on Cheetah helicopter after taking off from Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur when visibility suddenly dropped to zero due to dense fog while flying over Patnitop area.
The helicopter crashed between the trees at village Shiv Garh in Patnitop area of Seoj Dhar, official sources told the Excelsior.
Both the Pilots attained martyrdom in the crash.
They have been identified as Major Rohit Kumar, 35, a resident of Ace City Noida West and Major Anuj Rajput, 28, a resident of Sector 20 Panchkula.
Their bodies were shifted to the Command Headquarters and will be sent to their homes with full military honours.
A Defence spokesperson said the Pilots suffered grave injuries in the crash and were evacuated to Command Hospital Udhampur where they succumbed to their injuries.
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“Maj Rohit Kumar and Maj Anuj Rajput were brave officers who made supreme sacrifice in line of duty. The Indian Army will always remain indebted to their supreme sacrifice and offer deepest condolences to their family,” the spokesman said.
As soon as the local people saw the helicopter crashing they rushed to the spot and launched rescue operation. Later, Army and police teams also reached the spot and shifted the Pilots to the hospital.
The helicopter was badly damaged in the crash.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the crash.
On August 3, an Army helicopter had crashed into Ranjit Sagar dam in Basohli tehsil of Kathua district. Body of one of the Pilots Lt col AS Baath was recovered from the dam on August 16 while the body of another Pilot still remained untraced.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh has expressed shock over the death of two Pilots in the crash.
“Saddened to receive the news of death of both the Pilots, who were injured this morning in the Army helicopter crash in Patnitop region. Despite prompt and best possible aid, they couldn’t be saved. My deep condolences to the bereaved families,” Dr Jitendra Singh tweeted.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also saluted supreme sacrifice of the two Pilots.
“I salute the courage and supreme sacrifice of our braveheart Army officers Major Rohit Kumar & Major Anuj Rajput who laid down their lives in the line of duty at Patnitop, Udhampur. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief,” Sinha tweeted.
A tweet by the ADG PI-Indian Army said Army chief Gen MM Naravane and all ranks salute the supreme sacrifice of Major Rohit Kumar and Major Anuj Rajput and offer deepest condolences to the families.
Northern Command chief Lt Gen YK Joshi and all ranks also salute the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on 21st September 2021 at Patnitop and offer deepest condolences to their families.