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Arunachal CMs chopper not traced
Inclement weather prevents search operation
Bijay Sankar Bora/TNS

Guwahati, May 1
There has not been any clue to the fate of the Pawan Hans Eurocopter AS350 B3 that had Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on board after it had gone out of communication at 10.15 am on Saturday after take off from Tawang helipad in Arunachal Pradesh at 9.50 am.

According to defence sources at Tezpur and Shillong, helicopters of the IAF and the Army could not launch search operation to trace the missing helicopter throughout Sunday because of bad weather. Thick clouds engulfed Tawang region. Though an Army chopper tried to go for a search from Tenga base in Arunachal Pradesh, it had to return quickly because of the inclement weather. The search launched by over 300 soldiers of Indian Army, ITBPand Sashatra Seema Bol on foot in the hostile terrain in Tawang region also failed to deliver anything.

Two Sukhoi aircraft from IAFs Bareilly base were pressed into action to take photographs of Tawang region to aid the search operation that has been hamstrung by bad weather condition.

Meanwhile, Union ministers Mukul Wasnik and V Narayansami arrived here to monitor operations. Also, the permission of Bhutanese authorities has been obtained for air sorties for search and rescue operations in their territory to trace the missing helicopter, an official statement said here today.

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