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10 days on, searches continue to locate missing pilots at Ranjit Sagar Dam

Special equipment flown from Vizag to assist search teams say defence officials

JAMMU: Searches continue to locate the two pilots, who went missing after the helicopter crash in Ranjit Sagar Dam in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on August 3.

An official statement said: “Military authorities are leaving no stone unturned to search for the helicopter which crashed and sank into the Ranjit Sagar Dam on August 3 along with two pilots.

“Army has intensified with Submarine Rescue Unit of Indian Navy being flown in to explore digitally located wreckage at depth of approximately 80 – 100 meters,” the statement said, adding that “Indian Air Force has lifted the heavy equipment from Vishakhapatnam to Pathankot for speeding up the underwater search.”

It read that the Indian Army and all other agencies including, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, NDRF, Ranjit Sagar Dam Authority, District Authorities and the locals are sparing no efforts for bringing the operations to a final conclusion.

“Indian Army is coordinating the efforts of Indian Navy deep divers team consisting of Officers, JCOs and Other Ranks, multibeam sonars, side scanners, remotely operated vehicles and underwater manipulators which have been flown in from Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi and pressed into action at the crash site of the dam,” the statement added.

The official statement further stated that the search operation continues unabated in spite of bad weather and rain. Expertise and equipment of 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 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,” it read, adding that “

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

The defence statement further said that “No efforts are being spared for early conclusion of the search operation. A small area of 60m by 60m has been localised and special sonar equipment flown in from Kochi is being employed to enable the search operations to enter their final phase”—(KNO)


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