UPDATED- IAF helicopter crashes in Tawang Valley of Arunachal, 7 dead



By Manoj Singh

At least seven defence personnel, including two army officers, were killed when a Indian Air Force Helicopter Mi-17 V5 crashed on Friday morning near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

The chopper had taken off from the Khirmu helipad near Tawang and was on its way to Yangste, said Tawang Superintendent of Police M K Meena.

The Russian manufactured chopper was on an air maintenance mission and was also scheduled to drop off kerosene jerry cans at an Army camp in Yangste, he said.

All the bodies were recovered by a team of the IAF and the Army.

The dead have been identified as

  • Wing Commander Vikram Upadhyay,
  • Squadron Leader S Tiwari,
  • Master Warrant Officer A K Singh,
  • Sgt Gautam
  • Sgt Satish Kumar
  • Sepoys E Balaji
  • H N Deka from the Army.

“The rescue operation was carried out at an altitude of almost 17,000 feet above sea level,” Meena said.

“All the bodies were brought to Khirmu helipad for medical formalities and flown to Tezpur airbase,” he added.

“A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” a senior IAF official said in Delhi.



An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter Mi 17 V5 crashed on Friday early morning in Tawang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh . At least six people – all of them Air Force personnel – are feared to have been killed in the crash.

The Indian Air Force however claims that the toll is six, with one officer in a critical state.

The Mi-17 V5 chopper on a maintenance mission was carrying seven persons, including some Army officials onboard when it crashed.

The crash took place around 6am when the chopper crashed, a senior official said.

According to IAF official a court of inquiry has been ordered to probe the crash. The area in which the chopper was flying is said to be vulnerable to dangerous weather changes.

More details awaited



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