Authorities have found the remains of a Pawan Hans helicopter that went missing on Aug. 4 in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, according to reports Monday. The chopper was reported missing after it took off from the town of Khonsa in the southeastern part of the state.
The chopper was carrying the deputy commissioner of Tirap, Kamlesh Joshi, and two pilots, according to Asian News International news agency. There is no official word about the three occupants. India's northeast is marked by rugged, mountainous terrain with connectivity to remote parts of the region limited to air travel, which is provided by companies such as Pawan Hans.
“The air force has confirmed that the wreckage of the missing helicopter has been found 12 km (7.45 miles) south of Khonsa, the headquarters of Tirap district,” Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said, in New Delhi, Press Trust of India news agency reported.
In 2011, then Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four other people were killed after a Pawan Hans helicopter crashed in a remote area in the state. Some days after the incident, 16 people died in another crash as a Pawan Hans chopper attempted to land in Tawang district in the western part of the state.
Frequent accidents prompted a temporary ban on commercial chopper services in the state until Pawan Hans reportedly resumed service in Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the country's northeast in 2013.