Uttarakhand: Helicopter carrying flood-relief material crashes, 3 dead
In a distressing piece of news, a helicopter crashed in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district on Wednesday, reportedly after hitting a power cable. The aircraft was on its way to Moldi from Mori and was carrying relief material for flood-affected areas. As per NDTV, all three on-board identified as pilot Rajpal, co-pilot Kaptal Lal and a local person named Ramesh Sawar, died in the crash.
For the past couple of days, Uttarakhand has been brought to a standstill due to heavy downpour. Cloudbursts and blocked highways have left people stranded in various parts of the state. Uttarkashi district is among the worst-affected areas. Several villages have been submerged in water and hectares of agricultural land was washed away. Meanwhile, the Tons river has also been overflowing.
A total of 35 people died in Uttarakhand in the last few days. In Mori block alone, 16 people have lost their lives due to heavy rains. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat paid a visit to the rain-ravaged area. Earlier, Uttarkashi Disaster Management Officer Devendra Patwal told PTI that several people living in rain-hit areas have gone missing.
The heavy rainfalls have brought back memories of 2013 floods when the state suffered extensive damage and thousands lost their lives. As per government data, dated 16 July 2013, more than 5,700 people were "presumed dead" due to floods. This included 934 locals. Some 300,000 pilgrims and tourists were stranded in Uttarakhand, who were rescued by armed forces over many days.