ibnlive » India

May 03, 2011 at 11:56pm IST

Hopes fade, as no trace of Dorjee chopper yet

New Delhi: Even after four days of search, there was no trace of the Pawan Hans helicopter in which Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu went missing.

Khandu and his aides went missing from Shela Pass near Tawang on Saturday and on Tuesday rescuers entered Bhutan to look for them.

As many as 31 Army columns, 3 ITBP columns and 6 SSB columns searched the Nagar Jiji area along the India-Bhutan border on Tuesday after ISRO images revealed metallic debris there.

But no trace of the chopper was found despite a search up to 14000 feet high. The government has now begun search operations inside Bhutan, with the help of Bhutan Army and police.

The search has now been narrowed to Patu Jiji after ISRO images showed fresh metallic debris in the area but bad weather continues to be a hindrance.

As the ground parties struggle with the terrain, air searches have also proved ineffective. On Wednesday two MI17 and two cheetah helicopters from Tawang and Tezpur will again attempt to search the area.

Army, Airforce, ITBP, local Arunachal administration, Bhutanese government - all possible help is being extended to look for the missing chopper, but close to 90 hours later there is still no sign of the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister. With rescue and search operations enter Day 5, hopes of a positive outcome are fading fast.