The pilots, captain Gopal Krishna Panda and captain AP Shrivastava suffered severe injuries and were rushed to a private hospital where they were declared dead, Raipur SSP Prashant Agrawal told TOI.
अभी रायपुर में एयरपोर्ट पर स्टेट हेलीकॉप्टर के क्रैश होने की दुखद सूचना मिली.इस दुखद हादसे में हमारे दोनों पायलट… https://t.co/KgX4StmoQk
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) 1652373642000
According to preliminary information, the crew was conducting a night flying training sortie at the airport when the chopper crashed while landing at the rear end of the runway. It was an AgustaWestland 109 helicopter, said sources. Officials said they are assessing if the runway has suffered any damage.
“It was on a routine training sortie. Initial indications suggest technical malfunction caused the crash,” a government spokesperson said.
A detailed technical investigation will be conducted at the behest of DGCA and the state government to ascertain the exact cause.
The state helicopter was regularly used for VIP movement and travel of senior officers within the state. For the last eight days, senior officials mostly used this chopper during chief minister Bhupesh Baghel’s ongoing mass contact programme in north Chhattisgarh, sources said.
This is the second state-owned helicopter to crash. In July 2007, a chopper crashed on the hills of the Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border while returning to the state after maintenance in Bhopal. Two pilots, an engineer and a senior technician were on board the ill-fated chopper.