Raipur airport cleared of crashed copter



Raipur: Air traffic was restored at Raipur in the early hours of Monday, a day after a helicopter crashed at the airport during a test flight, blocking the runway and delaying several flights for hours.

"The traffic has returned to normalcy, the runway has been cleared of the crashed helicopter," Anil Roy, in-charge of Raipur airport, told reporters.

As many as 32 flights depart and land at Raipur airport each day.

The Dhruv chopper of the Border Security Force (BSF) had crashed at a height of about 100 feet within minutes of taking off from Raipur airport for a test flight Sunday.

The Dhruv, which is developed and manufactured by the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, had five people on the board - the pilot, co-pilot, one engineer and two technicians, all of whom sustained multiple injuries.

Sandeep Dave, a doctor at a private hospital, Ramkrishna Care Hospital, who is treating the injured men, said all of them were out of danger though they needed to be in hospital for weeks due to serious injuries and fractures.

Officials at the airport said that a team of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would begin a probe into the crash incident Monday. The BSF is also reported to be carrying out a separate probe.

The BSF was using the Dhruv in Chhattisgarh for providing logistical support to its personnel and also evacuating its men in case of Maoist attacks in the violence-hit Kanker district of Bastar region where BSF men have been deployed to take on the guerrillas.

IANS