Uttarakhand CM Dhami orders probe into death of official at helipad in Kedarnath

Dehradun: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered a probe into the circumstances that led to the death of an Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) official after he was hit by the tail rotor of a helicopter in Kedarnath.

Amit Saini (35), who worked as a finance officer with the UCADA, was killed on the spot after being hit by the helicopter’s tail rotor at the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) helipad, located around 500 metres from the Himalayan temple, on Sunday.

Dhami expressed grief over the officer’s death and ordered a probe into it, besides asking officials to take effective steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

The chief minister also issued instructions to them to ensure that all the safety norms are mandatorily followed during boarding and deboarding of passengers at the helipad throughout the pilgrimage season.

Saini was part of a UCADA team that had gone to Kedarnath to inspect the arrangements for helicopter services to the temple scheduled to open on Tuesday.

The team was preparing to leave by the Crystal Aviation single-engine helicopter when the tragic incident took place.

Saini went behind the helicopter to board it through the door on the other side and came into contact with its tail rotor, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mayur Dikshit said.

Pilot P K Chabri, who has 12 years’ experience of flying helicopters in the Kedar valley, said the tail rotor of a chopper revolves more than 200 times in a second.

It revolves even faster when the air pressure is low, he said, adding that if anyone goes too close to it, he faces the risk of getting sucked in.

The pilot said it is the responsibility of the security guards deployed at the helipad to ensure that people do not go behind choppers as it is not safe.