Helicopter crash: 6 Vaishno Devi pilgrims, woman pilot killed

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Katra, Jammu: A privately-run helicopter crashed in Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir’s Katra area, killing six Mata Vaishno Devi-bound pilgrims and the woman pilot on Monday, witnesses and police officials said.

The helicopter belonging Himalayan Heli Services crashed ostensibly due to think fog that engulfed most parts of the State in the morning and instantly caught fire, witnesses said. The fog disrupted air, rail and road transport services across the State.

Police and rescue officials rushed to the spot but said none of the people on board seem to have survived in the crash.

Officials said that the helicopter crashed soon after taking off from Sanjhi Chatt helipad on the peripheries of the Katra town, the base-camp of the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage.

Police has registered a case and taken up investigations. The identities of the crash victims are being ascertained.

Earlier, air, rail and road transport in the Kashmir Valley and many parts of the State’s Jammu region were disrupted by very poor visibility due to dense fog. Several flights to and from the Srinagar International Airport have been delayed.

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