Thursday, May 5, 2011

Khandu's body,copter wreckage found

After Five days the chopper went missing on its flight from Tawang to Itanagar, Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu's body was found in Luguthang in Tawang district bordering China.The four others on board the ill-fated helicopter - two pilots, the Chief Minister's security officer and a female politician have also been confirmed dead."The Chief Minister and four others are dead," Union Minister for Development of North-eastern Region BK Handique told a press conference in Itanagar on Wednesday evening.

On Wednesday morning,the wreckage of Khandu's chopper was spotted from a hilltop near Jung falls in Tawang district and villagers in the area communicated to a control room in Itanagar that three of the five bodies were charred beyond recognition, a Cheetah helicopter that flew over the wreckage site also confirmed spotting the crashed chopper and some bodies.Local villagers could identify the bodies of Khandu and Yeshi Lhamu, the sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup. Later, a government official and a relative of Khandu confirmed that one of the bodies was indeed Khandu's.A team from the nearest Army post in Kyela has left for the wreckage site to retrieve the bodies. However, given that the area is still receiving snowfall, the adviser to the late Chief Minister, Kiran Rijiju, indicated that it may not be possible to bring back the bodies until Thursday.

The indications of Khandu's death came earlier on Wednesday from Home Minister P Chidambaram who told reporters that there was "sad and grim" news from the rescue teams searching for Khandu's missing chopper. "I am afraid the news is sad and grim," Chidambaram said in his second press briefing of the day. In the morning, he had announced that debris of a helicopter and three bodies had been spotted from a hilltop near Jung Falls in the Tawang district. In addition to Mr Khandu, villagers were able to identify Yeshi Lhamu, the sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup

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