Co-pilot killed, pilot critical as Army Cheetah copter crashes in Gurez

SRINAGAR — A co-pilot was killed and the pilot was critically injured when an Army Cheetah helicopter crashed in Baraub area of Gurez area in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Friday afternoon.

The copter crashed while it was on a routine mission to evacuate an ailing (BSF) soldier from a forward post along the Line of Control, a Defence Ministry spokesman here said in a statement to GNS.

“The helicopter lost communication contact with the forward post at Gujran, Baraub. A search operation on foot was immediately launched by the Indian Army alongside search and rescue helicopters which were pressed into service,” he said, adding, “The wreckage of the crashed helicopter was found in a snowbound Gujran Nallah.”

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Pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter were grievously injured in the crash and were immediately evacuated to Base Hospital, Srinagar, he said.

“Maj Sankalp Yadav, the co-pilot succumbed to his injuries at 92 Base Hospital,” he said, adding, “The injured pilot was further evacuated to Command Hospital, Udhampur.”

He is critical but stable, the spokesman said. The injured pilot was identified by sources as Lt. Col BK Divedi. “Events leading to the crash of the helicopter are being ascertained,” the spokesman, meanwhile, said further.

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Regarding Maj Sankalp Yadav (29), the spokesman said that he was commissioned into the Indian Army in 2015 and was a resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan. He is survived by his father.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a tweet said: “I salute the courage and supreme sacrifice of our braveheart Army officer Maj Sankalp Yadav who laid down his life in the line of duty in Gurez sector. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of grief. I wish for speedy recovery of the injured.”

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