AP Photo/Channi Anand
Rescue operators reach the site where a Mi-26 chopper of the Indian Air Force crashed at an airport in Jammu. According to news reports, eight defence personnel including three crew members were injured.
IAF Chopper Crashes, Leaves 9 Injured
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An IAF helicopter crashed soon after taking off from the Technical Airport here this morning injuring seven IAF personnel, three of them officers, and two civil engineers.

A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered into the crash which occurred at the IAF station in Satwari at around 0915 hours.

The Mi-26 took off from the Technical Airport on a sortie to Reasi and crashed within minutes of take off, PRO, Defence, Lt. Col. Biplav Nath, told PTI.

Wing Commander R Gosh (Pilot), Wing Commander Vaishno Sharma and Squardon Leader Deepak Sharma were among the seven IAF personnel injured in the crash, he said.

Two civil engineers were also injured, Lt. Col. Nath said adding all of them were admitted to Military Hospital in Satwari.

The crash occurred probably due to a technical snag, he said.

IAF sources said the Mi-26 was ferrying heavy machinery of Konkan Railways for laying a track in Reasi district when the mishap occurred.

Two of the injured were serious, Lt. Col. Nath said adding that a Court of Inquiry had been ordered into the crash.

The airport was shut for five hours for clearing operations, he said.

The IAF choppers have undertaken several sorties in the past one month lifting heavy machines of Konkan Railway to remote Sangaldan and Reasi districts from Jammu.

The machinery was meant for construction of tracks on the prestigious Katra-Qazigund railway line project.

IAF operates eight Russian heavy transport Mi-26 choppers.

In July 2005, a Mi-26 was damaged while landing at Rampur in Himachal Pradesh after its rotor got entangled in a high-tension electrical wire.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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