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Updated: December 9, 2009 23:24 IST

Narrow escape for President, Orissa Governor

Special Correspondent
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President Pratibha Patil alights from the IAF chopper at Puri helipad on Wednesday. The chopper had a close shave after its blades grazed a wall while landing at Bhubaneswar.
PTI President Pratibha Patil alights from the IAF chopper at Puri helipad on Wednesday. The chopper had a close shave after its blades grazed a wall while landing at Bhubaneswar.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil had a narrow escape when three rotor blades of her helicopter hit the wall of an abandoned shed at the airport here on Wednesday evening.

The incident took place when the copter was about to be parked at 5 p.m. The rotor blades of the Air Force Mi-17 helicopter got damaged. Ms. Patil was landing at the airport while flying back from Puri where she visited the Sri Jagannath temple in the afternoon.

Ms. Patil and her husband Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat and Orissa Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare were on board, sources said.

The weather at the airport was clear at the time of landing. An investigation into the incident was on, official sources said here.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Patil, accompanied by her family members and other dignitaries, visited the Sun temple at Konark.

Ms. Patil arrived on a three-day maiden tour of the State on Tuesday afternoon.

She would fly back to New Delhi on Thursday morning.

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