Tezpur: At least 66 persons, including
ministers, legislators, senior government officials and pilots, have been killed in air crashes in the North East during the past one decade.
Of the 66 killed in plane and helicopter crashes at
least 47 were killed in Arunachal pRadesh alone during the
past ten years, official sources said Thursday.
Officials sources said the air crashes had occurred due
to high altitude terrain in the region, inclement weather
conditions and mechanical defects owing to lack of proper
The highest number of 17 people were killed when the
M-17 helicopter crashed with 23 passengers, including five
crew members of Pawan Hans, at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on
The chopper had crashed near Tawang monastery as it was
about to land killing the 17, including two children and three
crew members, besides injuring 6 others.
On November 19 last year 12 people, including 11 IAF
officials - two of them pilots - and one army officer, had
died when an IAF M-17 helicopter crashed at Bomdir bordering
China minutes after the copter took off from Tawang helipad on
way to Guwahati.
The sources said another 13 passengers, including a
pilot had died when an IAF AN-32 aircraft crashed on way to
Jorhat in Assam from Machuka near Arunachal Pradesh border on
June 9 last year.
At the same time an army helicopter (Chetak) had also
crashed killing three persons near Kohima in Nagaland.
Earlier in 2004 another helicopter of Pawn Hans
travelling from Guwahati to Shillong had crashed killing 16
passengers, including three legislators of the region, the
In 2002 a Pawn Hans helicopter had crashed near Bomdila
in Arunachal Pradesh killing five persons, including state`s
education minister Dera Natung, secretary education Sanjay
Ladung and a union human resources development deputy
secretary besides two pilots.
Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Tako Dabi was critical
of the performance Pawan Hans.
"The company (Pawan Hans) dealing with transportation of
passengers to and from the helipads located in Arunachal
Pradesh has been using old air machines while our government
has been paying well to the company for looking after safe
landing of all passengers," he told PTI over phone.