1On the way to Kedarnath, a passenger helicopter broke down and seven people including the driver lost their lives. The copter took off from Fata helipad, 14 km from Guptakashi. It collapsed near Garuda Chatti in Rudraprayag around 11.40 am on Tuesday. It caught fire almost immediately. At least one of the passengers was initially thought to be alive. However, the investigation revealed that almost all of them lost their lives.
According to the latest reports, the disaster response forces have managed to recover the bodies of seven people, including the driver. All of them are yet to be identified. The police did not get the information from which state they came for the Kedarnath pilgrimage.
Details of the accident
Eyewitnesses said a loud crash was heard after the copter crashed. Then it caught fire. They claimed that the copter had broken into pieces. When the police and disaster response personnel reached the spot, the fire was practically not completely extinguished. The wreckage of the copter was covered in thick smoke. The picture has gone viral on social media.
Suggestions from preliminary investigations
Preliminary investigations suggest that the accident was due to bad weather. Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority chief officer C Ravishankar said the weather was bad since Tuesday morning. As a result, the copter crashed. However, whether there was a mechanical malfunction cannot be said until the investigation is complete. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expressed his condolences on Twitter after learning of the accident.
President Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed condolences. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in a tweet expressed condolences and ordered a proper inquiry into the matter.
According to administration sources, the helicopter involved in the accident belongs to the ‘Bell 407’ model of a company called Ariane Aviation. This organization arranges for helicopter transportation of pilgrims and tourists from Guptakashi or Fata to Kedarnath. Ariane Aviation bought this luxury model copter from an American company called ‘Bell Textron’ for private and charter flights. These copters have met with accidents several times before.
In December 2012, a ‘Bell 403’ copter with passengers crashed near Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir, killing seven people. In 2009, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Rajasekhar Reddy lost his life in this helicopter crash. In 2002, Telugu Desam Party leader and then Speaker GMC Balayogi lost his life in a ‘Bell 206’ helicopter crash.
Cyber lessons in higher education too: UGC
The incidence of cybercrime is increasing day by day. It is believed that awareness is its main tool.
The University Grants Commission has taken initiative to increase that awareness. The UGC directed higher educational institutions in the country to introduce a curriculum on cyber security. UGC Secretary Rajneesh Jain said that initiatives should be taken to start a curriculum on cyber security in engineering, science, and art departments. Some time ago UGC has developed a syllabus on this subject for undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Trained teachers are needed to teach cyber security.