Jammu: After a day-long search, the rescue teams have called off the operation and will resume it Wednesday morning to trace missing pilots of the Army chopper that crashed into the Ranjit Sagar Lake in Basholi area of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir this morning.
“Two pilots of an ALH Dhruv helicopter of the Indian Army are still missing after their chopper crashed into Ranjit Sagar Dam,” Army sources said. They said that the search operation was suspended in the evening and will resume again on Wednesday.
Ranjit Sagar Dam shares boundaries with Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, Punjab’s Pathankot district and a portion of Himachal Pradesh. “Some parts of the chopper that were floating on the water have been recovered. Specialised forces and divers conducted the rescue operations,” they said.
“The search operation for the two pilots will resume tomorrow,” Army sources said.
Earlier inputs had stated that there was no casualty in the incident and both the pilot and co-pilot were safe.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force also assisted in the search and rescue operation in the lake while Police and Army teams also joined at the site.
Army sources said that it was an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) that took off from the Army’s Aviation Squadron at Mamun Cantonment in Pathankot, Punjab.
“The chopper has crashed into deep waters of the Ranjit Sagar Lake. Rescue boats were pressed into service while from the Punjab side, SDRF teams have also reached the spot,” they said.
In January this year also, one pilot had died after an Indian Army helicopter crashed in Kathua district’s Lakhanpur near the Jammu and Kashmir-Punjab border.
The HAL Dhruv helicopter had crashed after developing a technical snag. (UNI)