Indian army helicopter crash kills two in Jammu and Kashmir

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A military helicopter crashed in Jammu and Kashmir today. Two people, believed to be the pilots, are dead.

A Dhruv helicopter photographed in 2008.
Image: ILA-boy.

Both bodies are too burned for immediate identification. The Dhruv caught fire after going down in a forest in Bandipora. The crash at around 7:43p.m. local time was during night training over Ganderbal. Search and rescue personnel reached the wreckage in the Laman/Safapora forest at around 9:00p.m.

The army, police, and fire service all attended. Night flights have been a routine fixture in the area, according to locals. "There was a huge noise which was followed by smoke and flames," according to witnesses. Rescuers were due to check for further victims.

Manufactured by PSU Hindustan Aeronautics in India, more than 140 Dhruvs are in service nationally. They have suffered a string of setbacks, with four previous crashes across the country since 2011 killing a total of fourteen. The army says their weight is too high and their engines too underpowered for some roles. Ecuador has seven Dhruvs which are on reduced duties following accidents.