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Helicopter crash near Kedarnath kills 6 pilgrims, pilot

Helicopter crash near Kedarnath kills 6 pilgrims, pilot

Kedarnath: A helicopter transporting pilgrims crashed today near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, killing seven persons including the pilot.

Right after taking off from the Kedarnath shrine at around 11.40 am, the chopper that was headed for Guptkashi, crashed. The helicopter held seven passengers in total, including the pilot.

"All seven bodies have been recovered from the accident site," said C Ravi Shankar, CEO, of Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority.

Bad weather and poor visibility were the cause of the crash, according to a preliminary investigation.

"The exact cause of the accident will be known after a proper investigation," Mr Shankar said.

Before the helicopter caught fire close to Garud Chatti, according to sources with the aviation regulator, a loud noise was heard. "A Bell 407 helicopter VT-RPN belonging to a Delhi-based Aryan Aviation has crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi, possibly due to cloudy weather," sources told NDTV.

A huge plume of smoke was visible from the location. A thorough investigation into the tragedy has been requested by the chief minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the minister of civil aviation, expressed his sorrow over the event and assured everyone that it is being monitored closely.

Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Draupadi Murmu expressed their condolences for the deaths of the pilgrims and the helicopter pilot.

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TAGS:Kedarnath Pilgrims Helicopter crash 
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