DEHRADUN: Six passengers had a lucky escape after a helicopter they were travelling in crash-landed while landing from Kedarnath shrine helipad on Monday. The incident took place at around 11 am.
Payal Pracharya (26), a passenger from Ahemdabad who along with others sustained no injuries said, "We all were so scared. All of it happened in a matter of a few seconds. As we took off and got in the air for less than 30 seconds, the pilot returned the chopper. Turbulence grew stronger and we thought we all are going to die. Thanks to Almighty that we are safe."
An inquiry has been launched into the incident by district administration.
Mangesh Ghildiyal, district magistrate of Rudraprayag district where the revered shrine is located said, "The incident occurred while the pilot was flying back from Kedarnath to Phata. After sensing something wrong, he returned and landed the chopper safely on the helipad. Everyone including six passengers and the pilot is safe."
The passengers were ferried to Phata by another chopper after a few hours.
The chopper belonged to a company named 'UTair' which provides air services to the shrine from Phata. Distance between Phata and Kedarnath is 17.6 kilometres which takes about 9 minutes by air.
The chopper crash-landed as its tail hit the ground. The pilot managed to get the chopper land without any major injury to passengers and himself.
The passengers were immediately taken for medical assistance.
The chopper was removed from the helipad to continue other flight operations without any hindrance.
This is the seventh chopper crash in Kedarnath since 2013 tragedy.