ITANAGAR, Aug 5 - There is no trace of the Pawan Hans helicopter, which went missing yesterday after taking off from Khonsa in Arunachal Pradesh, even though the Indian Air Force (IAF) pressed into service a Sukhoi fighter jet to locate the missing chopper.
�The helicopter with three persons, including an IAS officer, on board that went missing yesterday soon after its take-off from Khonsa helipad, is yet to be traced despite intensive search-and-rescue operations being carried out for the last two days,� informed Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi while talking to reporters here this evening.
�The ground search operation started early this morning by the joint teams of Army, local police, forest personnel, gaon burahs and civilians and it continued upto 4.30 pm but no to avail,� he said.
He, however, conceded that aerial search operation could not be carried out today due to inclement weather, though civilian and military helicopters were kept on standby.
Negi further informed that �on our request, the Air Force authorities deployed a Sukhoi jet with synthetic aperture radar for ground mapping to locate the missing helicopter and after recceing the potential areas like Dadam, Thinsa, Longkhong, Sanliam and Muktowa in Tirap district, the Sukhoi returned to its base at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. We are waiting for the report from IAF authorities.�
Quoting the CMD of Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited, the Chief Secretary told newsmen that an �internal� inquiry has been instituted by the helicopter company, apart from a �preliminary inquiry� by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
A report from Khonsa said that the search and rescue teams have zeroed in to a mountainous site above River Terun Ku between Dadam village and Sanliam village.