Huge Search On to Locate Missing YSR Chopper

Employing everything from remote sensing satellites, IAF jets and military helicopters to special commandos and army soldiers a huge search and rescue operation is underway to locate the Bell-430 chopper, carrying Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, which went missing this morning.

Searches are continuing across six districts and especially in the Nalamalla forests which were once known to be an epicenter of Maoist activity.

While ISRO pressed into service its Radar Imaging Satellite to photograph the areas along the route of the missing hopper, the IAF Su-30MKI with synthetic aperture radar is being used for high-resolution ground mapping.

The radar mounted Sukhoi aircraft is being assisted by two refueling aircrafts to ensure that the radar carrier did not have to return to base for shortage of fuel.

Nearly a dozen choppers are involved in the operation and boats are reported to be searching the River Krishna.

The state government is also trying to seek help of the US Defence department to have real-time satellite imagery of the area where the Bell-430 helicopter went missing, say media reports citing state government officials.

Some 250 personnel from the Indian army with night vision devices are leading the search ops in the Nallamala forest.

About 500 CRPF personnel are also conducting extensiver searches in the Maiost-affected forests in Kurnool, sat reports citing Home Ministry officials in New Delhi.

CRPF troops have also been drafted from the neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Orissa and are soon expected to join the search.

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