Kohima: A colonel and two majors were
killed when an army helicopter on a routine sortie crashed
while flying over the mountainous terrain of Dzukou valley in
the Nagaland-Manipur border area today, officials said.
The deceased pilots were identified as Maj Nikhil
Prakash and Maj Rakesh Sharma while the passenger of the
Cheetah helicopter was Col P K Pal, Defence PRO R K Palta said.
The bodies were found by a rescue team comprising
village youths, police and army men from near the wreckage of
the helicopter lying in the mist-covered thick jungle of the
valley near Viswema village, about 25 km south of here.
The helicopter had left the army`s 3 Corps
headquarters Rangapahar near Dimapur at 8.25 am to Limakong
near Imphal on a routine sortie. But it lost ground contact
while flying over the mountainous terrain of Dzukou valley,
The chopper crashed around 8.45 am possibly due to
poor visibility caused by bad weather, officials said.
Palta said an inquiry into the incident was ordered.
The villagers of Viswema had heard the sound of crash
in the morning. Later in the afternoon they along with police
and army personnel spotted the site and retrieved three bodies
after scaling the mountainous terrains.
Policemen, accompanied by the villagers recovered the
bodies from the forest, Kohima SP Rothilhu Tetseo said.
Inclement weather prevailed in the area for the past
couple of days following incessant rains.