Raipur: A Chhattisgarh government helicopter crashed at the Raipur airport on Thursday night, killing two pilots, police said. The incident took place during a flying practice at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur under Mana police station limits at around 9:10 pm, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prashant Agrawal.
Two pilots on board the chopper were seriously injured in the crash and immediately taken to a nearby private hospital where they were declared dead, said the SSP. The deceased were identified as Captian Gopal Krishna Panda and Captain A P Shrivastava, said the police officer.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. A detailed technical investigation at the behest of civil aviation regulator DGCA and the state government shall be undertaken to ascertain the exact cause, said senior officials.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed grief over the tragedy and condoled the death of the pilots. Baghel tweeted, “Just got sad news about a state helicopter crashing at the airport in Raipur. In this tragic accident, both our pilots Captain Panda and Captain Shrivastava passed away. May God give strength to their family members and peace to the departed soul.”
Governor Anusuiya Uikey also paid tributes to the pilots who died in the accident and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.