Second such crash in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh

In one of the worst helicopter crashes in Arunachal Pradesh, 17 persons, including three crew members, were killed and six injured when it caught fire and plunged into a gorge in Tawang city on Tuesday.

The Pawan Hans Mi-17 copter was flying to Tawang from the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and had taken off at 12.45 p.m., agency sources said.

Pilots Captain Varun Gupta and Captain A.K. Tiwari were scheduled to land at the Tawang civil helipad at 1.20 p.m. It caught fire, broke into pieces and crashed into a gorge close to the helipad around 1.57 p.m., the sources said.

Six survive

Two crew members and four passengers survived with grievous injuries, Tawang Deputy Commissioner Gamlin Padu said.

The injured were rushed to the civil hospital at Tawang and would be airlifted to Guwahati on Wednesdays, the Deputy Commissioner said.

This is the second helicopter crash in Tawang district bordering China.

On November 19 last, an Indian Air Force Mi-17 chopper crashed minutes after takeoff, killing all 12 on board.