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Miraculous escape for Fadnavis as chopper crash lands in Latur

Went to Latur for a statewide campaign to reach out to farmers; chopper developed a technical snag

Press Trust of India  |  Latur (Maharashtra) 

Devendra Fadnavis, chopper crash
Police officials near the wreckage of the Sikorsky VT-CMM helicopter, carrying Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, that crashed-landed following a technical snag shortly after take-off at Latur.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday had a close shave, when his helicopter got entangled in overhead wires and crash-landed in Latur district, after the pilot tried to descend due to bad weather.

The CM didn’t suffer any injury in the incident and all six persons on board were safe.

The crash-landing occurred soon after the chopper took off at around 12 noon from Nilanga, around 45 km from Latur, for Mumbai.

“It was a crash-landing. When we took off, we noticed that the chopper was slanting. There was air pressure. It brushed against (electric) wires,” Fadnavis said, after reaching Mumbai by another aircraft from Latur.

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

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

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.

The state government’s six-year-old Sikorsky chopper was damaged beyond repair, an official of civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI.

The incident will be investigated by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), which comes under the civil aviation ministry, the official said. The AIB probes all accidents and serious incidents involving Indian aircraft.

Fadnavis tweeted after the accident that he was safe.

The chief minister later proceeded by road to Latur and boarded an aircraft to fly to Mumbai.

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

First Published: Fri, May 26 2017. 01:40 IST