though in between there were reports attributed to Chief Minister office claiming that his chopper had landed safely in Bhutan.
However, according to DD later in the evening Indian Ambassador in Bhutan informed that there were no reports of Dorji’s Chopper landing in Bhutan.
The Chief Minister’s office in Itanagar also later said that there was no confirmation on the status of the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister’s chopper had taken off from tawang at 9:56 am and was to land at Itanagar at 11:30 am by the chartered Pawan Hans helicopter.
The chopper was last in communication with the base when it was overflying Sela Pass, 20 minutes after taking off from Tawang, and all communications were lost after that.
Tawang is about 200 kms from Itanagar. Defence sources in Kolkata said the helicopter, the Pawan Hans Eurocopter B3 landed in Daporijo. The chopper was last in communication with the base when it was overflying Sela Pass, 20 minutes after take off and all communications were lost after that. Army and the Indian Air Force were alerted and helicopters were pressed into service for search and rescue operations in Sela Pass area.
Today’s incident comes close on the heels of the April 19th Pawan Hans chopper crash in Tawang in which 17 people lost their lives. Since the crash, Pawan Hans passenger helicopter services in Arunachal Pradesh has been put on hold. The Director General of Civil Aviation has already ordered an inquiry into the crash.