A crew member was killed and two pilots suffered injuries when a helicopter carrying pilgrims met with an accident while taking off from the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath in Uttarakhand on Saturday. All the five passengers were safe.
The accident took place at around 7.45 am.
The Agusta 119 helicopter, belonging to Mumbai-based private operator Krestal Aviation, was on its way from Badrinath to Haridwar.
An official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi said that an engineer, who was part of the crew, died in the accident, while the two pilots suffered injuries.
Chamoli Superintendent of Police Tripti Bhatt told PTI on the phone that the engineer, identified as Vikram Lamba, who hailed from Assam, was hit by rotor blades.
The police officer said the helicopter got imbalanced while taking off because of insufficient air pressure and crashed.
The pilot of the chopper, Sanjay Waze, complained of slight backache, while co-pilot Alka Shukla, a resident of Kanpur, suffered minor injury.
All the pilgrims were from Vadodara in Gujarat and they have left for their respective destinations, the police officer said.
Teams of the DGCA and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) have rushed to the spot. The AAIB will probe the accident, a senior DGCA official said.
(With inputs from PTI)