One person was killed and seven others injured when an eight-seater chopper crashed near the Bardinath shrine in Uttarakhand on Saturday morning.
The engineer of the chopper – Vikram Lamba, a resident of Assam, fearing for his life – jumped mid-air and was sliced by the rotor of the helicopter. He died on the spot.
The Mumbai-based aviation company’s chopper was carrying a pilgrim family back to Haridwar from the shrine after their ‘darshan’ when the accident took place.
The helicopter with eight passengers on board, including three staff members took off normally but soon lost balance and crashed in the nearby thickets, officials said.
The pilgrim family was from Vadodra in Gujarat and after first aid they have been sent by road to Haridwar.
The passengers who sustained minor injuries have been identified as Jashodaben, Naveen Bhai Patel, Leela Ben Patel, Harish Bhai and Ramesh Bhai.
The pilot Sanjay Vange is from Pune and co-pilot Alka Shukla hails from Kanpur. Both are safe. They escaped with minor injuries.
Officials informed that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been informed of the accident. DGCA chief secretary S Ramaswamy has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.