DGCA begins probe into Kedarnath chopper crash, death toll rises to 7

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New Delhi– Aviation regulator DGCA has launched a probe into the Kedarnath helicopter crash in which seven people, including the pilot, were killed on Tuesday.

A senior DGCA official said that a team will be sent soon to the crash site to do a detailed probe.

The helicopter, carrying pilgrims, crashed after takeoff from the Kedarnath shrine near Garud Chatti in Rudraprayag at around 11.40 a.m.

“Aryan Aviation Bell-407 helicopter VT-RPN with passengers took off from Kedarnathji Dham for GuptKashi. The weather was cloudy over Garud Chatti. In a valley near Garud Chatti a loud noise was heard and the helicopter caught fire,” said the DGCA official.

“As per the preliminary information received, a Bell 407 helicopter VT-RPN belonging to a Delhi-based NSOP holder M/s Aryan Aviation crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi, possibly due to bad weather…,” said the official.

Earlier, in August this year, five helicopter operators, who were carrying pilgrims to Kedarnath shrine, were each fined Rs 5 lakh each by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The operators were fined for not maintaining correct flying records. The regulator also suspended officials from two other operators for three months for flouting safety rules. (IANS)

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