History of air crashes: Some were killed, some survived
Wednesday was an unfortunate day for the Indians as the news of an Indian Air Force helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor hit in the afternoon. The fateful event claimed the life of 12 officers along with the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife.
This tragic incident brought memories of various such unfortunate incidents which have claimed several prominent personalities.
One of the first instances was freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose in 1945 in Taiwan, although there has been some controversy over his death.
Homi Bhabha died in an Air India plane crash, owing to a misunderstanding between Geneva airport and the pilot.
Indian Air Force pilot Abhinav Chaudhary died after his MiG-21 fighter jet crashed into an open field in Langeana village in Punjab’s Moga district.
An Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter, which took off from Srinagar on a routine mission, crashed around near Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam. All six aircrew on board sustained fatal injuries.
An Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter crashed near Kedarnath while flying on a state government mission. The accident happened during landing near the helipad. All four aircrew and two ground crew members, who were on board survived.
A Cheetah helicopter belonging to an Army aviation unit in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh crashed shortly after it took off, killing all three officers on board.
Another air accident was the crash of a helicopter in which Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was onboard. The chopper of YSR crashed in a forest while flying in a Bell 430 to Chitoor district in Andhra Pradesh. His body was traced 27 hours after the helicopter went missing in 2009.
Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was killed in 1980 when a glider he was flying crashed after taking off from the Safdarjung airport in Delhi.
Senior Congress leader, Madhavrao Scindia was killed in a Cessna aircraft crash in 2001 while travelling to Kanpur to address a rally.
Lok Sabha Speaker and Telugu Desam leader G M C Balayogi also died in a chopper crash in 2002 in Andhra Pradesh.
O P Jindal, Haryana’s then power minister and a leading industrialist, and state agriculture minister Surendra Singh were killed when their chopper developed a technical snag and went down near Saharanpur in 2005.
Punjab Governor Surendra Nath and nine members of his family were killed when the government’s Super-King aircraft crashed into high mountains in bad weather in 1994 in Himachal Pradesh. Nath was then also the acting Governor of Himachal.
Five days after the helicopter that he was using went missing, Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was found dead near the China border in 2011.
But many were lucky. Former Prime Minister Morarji Desai famously escaped when his special aircraft crashed in Assam in November 1977. P K Thungon, who was the then Arunachal Pradesh chief minister and was accompanying him, also survived.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel and union ministers Prithviraj Chauhan and Kumari Selja had a similarly miraculous escape in 2004 in Gujarat.
Rajnath Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had a miraculous escape last year when they were travelling to Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. The chopper landed close to a pile of dry grass that caught fire. The pilot immediately took off again and landed at a safe place.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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