(MANEND NEWS): An Indian army helicopter “made a hard landing” in India-occupied Kashmir’s Kishtwar region on Thursday, injuring all three personnel aboard, Indian news agency ANI quoted the army as saying.
The Indian army said the three injured officials — two pilots and a technician — were shifted to the Command Hospital in IOK’s Udhampur.
“Due to the undulating ground, undergrowth and unprepared landing area, the helicopter apparently made a hard landing,” the ANI stated the army as saying. It added that an investigation has been called into the matter and “further details are being ascertained”.
An army aviation “ALH Dhruv helicopter on an operational mission made a precautionary landing on the banks of Marua River in the Kishtwar region” at 11:15am, the ANI said, citing the army statement.
The ANI further quoted the army as saying that the pilots had reported a technical fault to the air traffic controller and proceeded for a precautionary landing.
The army further said immediate rescue operations were launched and army rescue teams reached the site.
In January this year, two Indian Air Force fighter jets — involving three pilots — had crashed in an apparent mid-air collision, killing one pilot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is grappling with the urgent task of overhauling India’s outdated armed forces.
Its military establishment is fretting over a growing assertiveness by China along its vast Himalayan frontier, which in 2019 sparked a lingering diplomatic freeze after a deadly high-altitude confrontation between troops of both countries.
Last year, India unveiled its first locally built aircraft carrier as part of government efforts to build an indigenous defence industry and reduce reliance on Russia, historically its most important arms supplier.
An effort to reform military recruitment to trim down India’s bloated defence payroll stalled last year after a backlash from aspiring soldiers, who burned train carriages and clashed with police in fierce protests.