Maharashtra Chief Minister, his team, unhurt after chopper crash-lands in Latur

Maharashtra Chief Minister, his team, unhurt after chopper crash-lands in Latur

Maharashtra Chief Minister, his team, unhurt after chopper crash-lands in Latur

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ Chopper Crash-Lands In Latur. We Are Safe, He Tweets

Watch: Devendra Fadnavis’ chopper crash-lands in Latur, all on-board unhurt

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

LATUR, MAHARASHTRA:Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had a narrow escape this afternoon when his helicopter crash-landed in Latur moments after take-off, after getting entangled in wires. Mr Fadnavis said he and everyone else were safe because of the “blessings of 11 crore people of Maharashtra”.

Dramatic visuals showed the Chief Minister’s chopper taking off from a helipad in Nilanga, watched by a crowd, hovering in the air for some moments and then making a descent to the flashing of an emergency beacon. While landing from a height of a 10-storey building, the American-made Sikorsky helicopter was caught in wires and was badly damaged.

Officials say the accident could have been worse, that it’s a “miracle” no one was hurt.

The Chief Minister is touring the state to review the progress of water and housing schemes and for a farmer outreach. He was in the chopper along with three more passengers and two crew members.

“Our helicopter did meet with an accident in Latur but me and my team is absolutely safe and ok.

Nothing to worry,” Mr Fadnavis tweeted just after landing. In a video message, he thanked the people and said, “With the blessings of the people and God nothing happened to me…I request you to keep blessing me.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
While landing from a height of a 10-storey building the chopper was caught in wires and badly damaged
He later told NDTV that the helicopter landed soon after taking off because of technical trouble.

“When the helicopter took off, there was an emergency landing, an accident, but we are safe,” the Chief Minister told NDTV.

Devendra Fadnavis had a narrow escape this afternoon when his helicopter crash-landed in Latur
The chopper is six to seven years old, said Mr Fadnavis, adding that there would “definitely” be an inquiry.

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Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, “After take-off, the pilot found variable wind pattern and decided to land. During landing, the helicopter got entangled in wires. The helicopter has sustained substantial damage.”

The incident is worryingly close to another one last week when the Chief Minister was forced to travel by road through a Maoist-affected area after his chopper developed a snag in Gadchiroli.

Union Minister Suresh Prabhu was among those who tweeted on the incident. “Shocked to hear about accident to Helicopter of @Dev_Fadnavis but glad to know he’s is safe Wishing him the best,” he posted.

The CM’s banker wife Amruta Fadnavis expressed relief that her husband had escaped unhurt in the crash.

“Devendra ji called me and informed that he was safe. He also spoke to (his) mother,” Amruta said, adding the CM was very calm when he spoke.

A senior official of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) said the state government’s Sikorsky helicopter suffered substantial damage in the accident.

The DGCA official said the six-seater helicopter suffered substantial damage and would have to be “written off”.

After taking-off at around 12 pm on Thursday , the pilot observed a variable wind pattern and decided to land. During landing, the helicopter got entangled in wires, the official said, adding that all six persons who were on board are safe and escaped without serious injuries.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

The authorities spoke to commander of the flight as well as the chief minister. Both informed about the well-being of all occupants, the official said.

The chopper was scheduled to land at the governor’s house Raj Bhavan, near the CM’s official residence ‘Varsha’ in Mumbai, as usual, an official said.

Fadnavis was travelling across the state’s rural hinterland to reach out to farmers in order to assure them of his government’s support. Thursday was Day One of this ‘Samwad Sabha’ rally. On the first day, Fadnavis was scheduled to meet farmers in Latur, while BJP state unit president Raosaheb Patil is to interact with cultivators in Nandurbar district of North Maharashtra.

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The chief minister, during his speech at the BJP state working committee’s meeting last month in Pimpri-Chinchwad near Pune, had announced the ‘Shivar Samwad Sabha’ plans.

The Aircraft Accident Investigation (AIB) bureau, which comes under the Civil Aviation Ministry, will investigate the mishap. The AIB probes all accidents and serious incidents involving Indian aircraft.

However, the helicopter accident will worry Fadnavis, especially because it comes close to another one last week. A report on NDTV mentioned how Fadnavis’ helicopter developed a snag last week, forcing the chief minister to travel through road in an area with a major Maoist presence.

“The pilot of the chopper informed about the technical snag just before the take-off for Nagpur in the afternoon. Hence we had to take the decision of travelling by road,” Gadchiroli superintendent of police Dr Abhinav Deshmukh said, referring to last week’s incident.

Among those who called up Fadnavis to inquire about his well being were Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, an official said.

Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao telephoned Fadnavis from Chennai and enquired about his well-being. The governor said he was shocked to hear the news of the crash-landing and that he was relieved after being informed by Fadnavis that everyone was safe.

Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu also expressed relief that Fadnavis escaped unhurt.

Former deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the government should take extra precaution in ensuring proper maintenance of helicopters deployed for VIP duty.

“I thank almighty that CM is unhurt in Thursday’s accident. It is to be checked whether the periodic maintenance of
choppers, flying VVIPs or any other person, is done or not,” Pawar told reporters in Pune.

He demanded that there should be two pilots on a chopper carrying VVIPs. “New technology should be used in the
maintenance of choppers,” Pawar added.

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