A petty officer of the Indian Navy was killed and three were injured when a helicopter crashed into the Sarada river, three km from here, after hitting high tension (HT) wires on Wednesday afternoon.

The Chetak helicopter was flying over Anakapalle when it hit the HT wires and plunged into the river.

There was a deafening sound as the aircraft fell into the water. There was no power supply at the time of the accident.

According to police sources, the helicopter was on a mission to identify spots to make emergency landings in future.

Some boys who were fishing in the river were the first to see the crash and raised an alarm. One of them, Appa Rao, helped remove the pilot's seatbelt and rescued the injured.

Petty Officer K. Kumar (30) died of critical injuries at the NTR Hospital. Pilot Hritesh (27), Lt. Deepika Mishra (27), and Lt. K. Tushar (26) are undergoing treatment, the sources said.

Naval officials were reluctant to divulge details about the injured, saying there were not authorised to do so.

Court of inquiry

The Press Information Bureau (Defence Wing) issued a release stating: “An Indian Naval Chetak aircraft IN 468 was on a routine mission on June 2 in Anakapalle area.

“The aircraft had four personnel on board, out of which three are safe, but unfortunately K. Kumar, PO (AD) died during the crash.

“A court of inquiry is being instituted to investigate the circumstances leading to the crash.”