Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy,his Special Secretary P Subramanyam, Chief Security Officer A S C Wesley, pilot Group Captain S K Bhatia and co-pilot M S Reddy died in a helicopter crash in the Nallamala Hills on Wednesday. The chopper, Bell-430 carrying them crashed 90 minutes after its take off from Begumpet airport.
The bodies of 60-year-old Reddy, who led his Congress party to a spectacular second consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, P Subramanyam, A S C Wesley, S K Bhatia and M S Reddy were found on Rudrakonda Hill, 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool , besides the mangled remains of the helicopter.
Two helicopters are pressed into service to airlift the five bodies from the spot where the chopper crashed. The CM’s body is being flown to Hyderabad on Thursday. The body will be kept in state at Lal Bahadur Stadium till Friday morning for the people to pay their homage. Later it will be flown to Pulivendala, his native place where the last rites will take place.
The helicopter carrying the Andhra CM was located on Thursday morning on Rudrakonda hill, 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool, 24 hours after it went missing.
Helicopters, search parties and villagers conducted the search in pouring rain for a whole day and night in the forested hinterland for the wreckage, which was finally located about 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool town
The six-seater 11-year-old Bell 430 helicopter with five on board had lost radio contact 90 minutes after it took off from Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad at 0835 hours on Wednesday.
Finance Minister K Rosaiah was appointed as the caretaker Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Manmohan Sing and UPA chair person Sonia Gandhi will reach Hyderabad by 3 p.m on Thursday.
Following the tragedy, the Union Cabinet which was scheduled to meet in the day was called off.
Helicopters, search parties and villagers had conducted the search in pouring rain for a whole day and night in the forested hinterland for the wreckage, which was finally located about 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool town.