Army : International help is being sought to trace missing pilots, chopper in J-K dam

Insight Online News

Jammu, Aug 10 : The Army on Tuesday said international assitance is being sought to trace the two missing pilots and the helicopter that crashed in Ranjit Sagar Lake in Basholi area of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu-based defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said that military authorities are leaving no stone unturned to search for the helicopter which crashed and sank in the dam in Basholi area on August 3 along with the two pilots.

Experts, specialised equipment and divers are being continuously flown in and international assistance is also being sought, he said.

The expanse of the dam is 25-km long, 8-km wide and more than 500-feet deep.

The Army is coordinating the efforts of the Navy’s deep divers team consisting of two officers, four JCOs and 24 other ranks, the Army’s Special Forces diverse team consisting of two officers, one JCO and 24 other ranks.

He said multibeam sonars, side scanners, remotely operated vehicles and underwater manipulators have been flown in from Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi and pressed into action at the crash site of the dam.

Search operation continues unabated despite bad weather and rain, said the spokesman.

He said that the expertise and equipment of the Army, Navy, IAF, NDRF, SDRF, NGOs, state police, dam authority and private firms from all over the country have also been put into action.

“This deep-underwater operation is especially challenging due to the near zero visibility below 50 meters owing to the colloidal nature of water in this season which adversely impacts accuracy of sonars and other sensors,” said Anand.

The spokesman added that no efforts are being spared for the early conclusion of the search operation. A small area of 60 meters by 60 meters has been the focus and special sonar equipment flown in from Kochi is being employed to enable the search operations to enter their final phase.


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