Helicopter Crash Near Kedarnath: A helicopter carrying seven people, including a pilot, crashed near Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, today.
According to officials, the helicopter crashed at around 11.40 am, just after taking off from the Kedarnath shrine near Garud Chatti in Rudraprayag.
It was reported that six pilgrims and a pilot were found dead at the site.
The crash appears to have been caused by bad weather and poor visibility. A proper investigation will determine the cause of the accident, said C Ravi Shankar, CEO of Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority.
A loud noise was heard before the helicopter caught fire, according to aviation regulator sources. According to IndiNews, a Bell 407 helicopter VT-RPN belonging to Delhi-based Aryan Aviation crashed on its way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi due to cloudy weather.
A massive plume of smoke could be seen from the spot. A joint search and rescue operation is being conducted at the accident site by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the district police.
A detailed inquiry into the crash has been ordered by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
In a statement, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expressed his anguish over the incident and said they are in constant communication with the state government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Draupadi Murmu have condoled the deaths of pilgrims and the pilot in a helicopter crash.
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