• Monday, June 24, 2024

Human Interest

Panic at India’s Kedarnath as helicopter with tourists goes into tailspin; WATCH

People waiting near the helipad ran for cover as the aircraft struggled in the air to land on the ground. Seven people, including the pilot, were on board at the moment.

Officials inspect the helicopter that faced a technical problem while landing at Kedarnath in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand on Friday, May 24, 2024, morning, leaving the onlookers scared for some moments. The aircraft eventually landed safely. (Picture: @ANINewsUP)

By: Shubham Ghosh

PEOPLE at a helipad in Kedarnath in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand expected the worst for a second early on Friday (24) morning after a helicopter, carrying seven people, made a dangerous-looking emergency landing due to technical fault, averting a disaster.

All six passengers, who were pilgrims, and the pilot of the aircraft, a Leonardo A119 Koala helicopter, were safe.

A video of the incident went viral showing the aircraft tail-spinning while attempting an emergency landing. Meanwhile, people who were standing nearby ran for cover.

“A helicopter of Kestrel Aviation co coming from Sirsi helipad to Sh Kedarnath Dham carrying six passengers along with a pilot had to make an emergency landing approx 100 metres before the helipad of Sh Kedarnath Dham at around 7.05 hrs due to some technical problem,” disaster management officer of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand where Kedarnath is located said.


It was only last weekend that the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, was killed with some of his government’s top leaders in a helicopter crash in unfavourable weather conditions in his own country.

Every year, several people pay a visit to Kedarnath as part of the popular Char Dham Yatra Hindu spiritual tourism which includes four pilgrimage sites nested high in the Himalayas. This year, the yatra kicked off on May 10, with the opening of three of the four shrines — Yamunotri, Gangotri and Kedarnath. The doors of the fourth, Badrinath, were opened two days later on May 12.

It is believed that the yatra should be completed in a clockwise direction. Due to huge tourist footfalls, the state government of Uttarakhand has made registration compulsory for all pilgrims going for Char Dham Yatra.

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