Dhruv choppers grounded after crash

The Dhruv helicopters, used by paramilitary forces, have been grounded after a BSF chopper crashed on the outskirts of Ranchi.

Ranchi: The Dhruv helicopters, used by paramilitary forces, have been grounded after a Border Security Force (BSF) chopper crashed on the outskirts of Ranchi Wednesday, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Inspector General of Police DK Pandey said on Thursday.

"As per my information, the Dhruv choppers have been grounded in the country after a BSF chopper crashed Wednesday," Pandey told a news agency.

"The Dhruv chopper services will be decided after the DGCA completes its inquiry."

A BSF helicopter crashed in a forested area near the Jharkhand capital Wednesday, killing all three people on board: pilot SP Singh, co-pilot KB Thomas and technician Manoj Swain.

A DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) team has started its probe.

Civil aviation sources do not rule out the possibility of Maoist involvement in the crash.

"Normally the chopper remains in contact with ATC up to 25 nautical miles. The Dhruv chopper lost contact with ATC after 10 nautical miles. Sound was heard in the air after which the chopper crashed," a civil aviation official told a news agency.

"The possibility of Maoist involvement could not be ruled out," he said. "If the chopper developed a snag, why did the pilots not inform ATC?"

The Jharkhand police has, however, ruled out any such possibility.

Talking to a news agency after the crash, Jharkhand DGP GS Rath said: "There is no possibility of Maoist involvement in the incident. The DGCA will probe the incident. The chopper was regularly used for anti-Maoist operation. Technical fault seems to be the reason."

IANS

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