MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis escaped unhurt on Thursday when his helicopter had to crash land immediately after taking off at Nilanga in Latur district.
“Our helicopter did meet with an accident in Latur but are absolutely safe and ok. Nothing to worry,” Fadnavis tweeted immediately after the accident.
“We took off from helipad at 12 and the wind speed then was high. Later when we initiated, wind speed reduced. Helicopter then started coming down, there was a high tension cable there, we tried avoiding it but by then helicopter had touched it,” Capt Sanjay Karve, pilot of the helicopter said after the accident.
Fadnavis was accompanied by his principal secretary Pravin Pardeshi, personal assistant Abhimanyu Pawar and media advisor Ketan Pathak. The chopper had two crew members. He had gone to Latur in Marathwada for the BJP’s ‘Shivar Samwad Sabha’, a statewide campaign to reach out to farmers.
“With the blessings of people of Maharashtra and Nation, I'm safe. My team is fine too. Please do not believe any rumours,” Fadnavis tweeted minutes after the first tweet.
One more video of Fadnavis' narrow escape
“Fortunately, I have the blessings of more than 11 crore people of Maharashtra so I have escaped without any injuries,” he said in a video message released later.
“Ketan Pathak suffered minor injuries. There will be a regular DGCA inquiry in the incident,” he told reporters later while leaving for Mumbai from Latur.
On May 12 the helicopter had developed a snag before take-off from the naxal affected Gadchiroli district. When only one of the helicopter engine could be started, Fadnavis had to travel by road to Nagpur.
Governor Ch Vidyasage Rao and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray called Fadnavis over phone after hearing about the incident.