Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda suffered multiple injuries yesterday when the helicopter in which he was travelling with his wife developed a technical snag and toppled to its side after crash landing at the airport here.
Munda and his wife Meera, who were on their way to Saraikela Kharsawa district to participate in a programme, were taken to hospital along with BJP legislator Barkuwar Gagrai, security officer Manoj Singh, pilot BK Singh and a co-pilot.
Munda suffered a right ankle fracture as well as injuries on his chest, right hand, neck and back, hospital sources said. His ankle has been plastered.
|Arjun Munda, who was on board, is said to be out of danger. Pic/AFP|
The five others also suffered multiple injuries on neck, spine, ankle, chest and back, said P D Sinha, a doctor. All of them were declared out of danger.
According to Gagrai, the pilot realised on reaching Kuchai in Saraikela Kharsawa that there was a problem, and he immediately radioed the Ranchi Air Traffic Control, seeking permission to return.
But the landing effort failed four times, and so he hovered in the air for a while to exhaust the fuel. As there was no fuel, the chopper did not catch fire after toppling. “The pilot showed wisdom,” Gagrai said.
The chopper took off at 11.45 am and crash-landed at 12.25 pm. It landed from a height of about 25 feet in the air, police sources said.
“He (Munda) is out of danger,” Jharkhand Labour Minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered an enquiry into the crash. The chopper Augusta AW 109 was said to be 20 years old. In April, the chopper carrying Munda had to make an emergency landing in Jamshedpur after it developed a snag.