Two officers were killed when an army Dhruv helicopter crashed in a forest area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday evening, the army said.
According to an army spokesperson based in Srinagar both officers belonged to the 202 army aviation squadron.
“The flight had taken off for a routine night sortie training at 7:00pm from Manasbal area. The plane lost contact with the control room at 7:43 pm and was later found crashed in Kurshu forest at Safapora in Bandipora in North Kashmir,” the spokesperson said.
The army, however, refused to reveal the names of the officers killed as their families are yet to be informed. The spokesperson said that the pilot and co-pilot were Lieutanant colonel and Major rank officers.
Eye witnesses said that such trainings are routine at night, however, residents realised something was wrong when an “enormous sound was heard followed by smoke and flames.”
“Every evening the helicopter takes rounds above the area as it is apparently a security measure, however today (Wednesday), we heard the sound of crash followed by smoke and flames,” said a local, who didn’t want to be named.