Sat. May 25th, 2019

Two weeks on, IAF fails to submit report on MI-7 helicopter crash incident

Srinagar: Even after two weeks of mysterious crash of Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-7 V5 helicopter on February at Budgam district of Central Kashmir that left six IAF men including the pilot, co-pilot and a civilian dead, the IAF is yet to submit its report on what led to the crash despite a high level inquiry ordered by the top brass.
The incident happened on a day when Pakistan Air Force claimed to have hit the Indian jet resulting in the ejection of its pilot Abhinandan Vardhaman after which he was captured by Pakistani army. Rumours were thick that the helicopter that crashed in Budgam was also hit by Pakistan jets.
Addressing a press conference at army’s Srinagar-based headquarters in Srinagar on Monday, General officer Commanding (GoC) Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon said: “IAF was investigating the incident and the probe was on.”
Sources said that despite high level probe ordered by the IAF top brass to know the reasons for what led to the crash, the inquiry report remains in limbo despite the IAF top officials claiming that the incident will be investigated on fast track basis.
Sources said that six people who lost their lives in the incident included pilot, co-pilot besides four other IAF officials on board and that questions were raised why the pilot didn’t eject.
“Investigations are getting delayed because of the certain important factors that include whether the helicopter developed any technical snag, or was hit by a bird or some other object. Above all, why pilot didn’t eject,” sources in the IAF said.
They said that it will take another week or so to conclude the investigations into the incident given the sensitivities involved in the incident. On February, the Mi-7 V5, that was up in flames in the air, was seen falling in an open area in Budgam district and later the charred bodies of pilot, co-pilot , four IAF officials and a civilian were killed.
The civilian killed in the incident an orphan, who was coincidently near the spot and tried to help evacuate the dead but got stuck in the area and died after a loud bang.
The district administration of Budgam headed by deputy commissioner Syed Sehrish Asgar visited the family of slain civilian and handed over an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the brother and sister of the deceased civilian.

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