Close shave for Arjun Munda in chopper crash

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had a miraculous escape after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed upon landing at Ranchi airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Zeenews Bureau

Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had a miraculous escape after the helicopter, in which he was travelling, crashed upon landing at the Birsa Munda airport here on Wednesday afternoon.

The pilot of the chopper was also severely injured in the incident.

Confirming the development, Ranchi Superintendent of Police Ranji Kumar said, “The Chief Minister suffered injuries when the helicopter met with an accident while landing."

The incident occurred around 12.30 pm when helicopter was returning to Birsa Munda Airport after it could not land at Kuchai in Sareikela-Kharsawan district, about 100 kms from here.

The pilot, after detecting a technical snag, contacted the air traffic control (ATC) and sought priority landing.

The chopper did land but it was not a controlled descent and it turned turtle seconds before it touched ground. Luckily, the chopper – belonging to Jharkhand government - did not catch fire but suffered damages.
"The helicopter fell from a height apparently due to a technical problem while landing," a close aide of the Chief Minister said.

Jharkhand DGP G S Rath also said, "The Chief Minister was accompanied in the helicopter by his wife Meera Munda, an MLA and a security officer."

Minutes after the mishap, all those present onboard, including the Chief Minister, were rushed to Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for a precautionary check-up. He was later shifted to Apollo Hospital.

Doctors who attended on Munda said that his condition is stable and his injuries are not of serious nature.

According to sources, Munda was returning to the state capital from Kharsawan.

The entire area has been cordoned off. The chopper was completely damaged in the accident and efforts are being made to remove it from the tarmac.

All civilian flight operations to-and-fro Ranchi remain suspended for the moment.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

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