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Two Haryana ministers die in chopper crash
March 31, 2005 14:10 IST
Last Updated: March 31, 2005 20:45 IST
Haryana Agriculture Minister and Bansi Lal's son Surender Singh and noted industrialist and Power Minister O P Jindal were killed early Thursday afternoon in a chopper crash in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.
The chopper's pilot also died in the crash.
Two persons -- Ved Goyal, a relative of Jindal, and head constable Vinod Kumar - who were also on board the chopper owned by the Rs 10,000-crore Jindal conglomerate, were injured in the crash.
Also see: Crash news stuns Delhi
The pilot, T S Chauhan, died on way to hospital. Goyal and Kumar were admitted to a private hospital in Saharanpur.
Jindal is survived by his wife, four sons and five daughters, while Surender Singh is survived by his wife and a daughter.
The helicopter, which had taken off from Chandigarh at 1132 hrs had reported over Sarsawa ATC near Saharanpur at 1217 hrs. It lost contact with the ATC when it was 15 metre out of Sarsawa, officials said.
Goyal, who suffered leg injuries and was in a state of shock, told PTI from his hospital bed that "at around 1230 hrs, the pilot told us that the engine of the helicopter had failed. Jindal and Singh asked him to try and land the helicopter safely, but within seconds the aircraft went out of control and began losing height and crashed."
Kumar, said "everything appeared normal. The Sarsawa airport was visible and Jindalsaab was showing Surendersaab the airstrip and things below. The pilot even radioed the ATC at Sarsawa and got the clearance...suddenly something
happened and the helicopter dipped and crashed in the fields."
Soon after receiving the news of the crash, Jindal's son, member of Parliament Naveen Jindal, rushed to Saharanpur. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and All India Congress Committee general secretaries Janardhan Dwivedi and Ashok Gehlot also flew in.
Senior Superintendent of Police S A Rizvi said the exact cause of the crash was not known yet, but it appeared that the chopper's engine stopped functioning.
Quoting villagers, Rizvi said they noticed fire in the helicopter just before it crashed.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has instituted an inquiry into the crash, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in New Delhi.
The cremation of Jindal and Surender Singh would take place on Friday in Hissar and Bhiwani respectively.
UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav condoled the deaths and a two-minute silence was observed at the Samajwadi Party Convention in Lucknow.
Both Surender Singh and Jindal were inducted into the Hooda Cabinet after the Congress returned to power in Haryana
after nine years.