Ranchi: A BSF helicopter on anti-Naxal duty crashed on the outskirts of Ranchi on Wednesday, killing two pilots and a technician on board. The advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv was going to Chaibasa from Ranchi when its engine caught fire and it crashed in Khunti jungle, a senior BSF official said.
All three on board the Pawan Hans chopper, Captain Thomas, Captain S P Singh and technician Manoj Kumar Swain, were killed in the mishap, he said.
A team of CRPF personnel deployed in the area for anti-Naxal operation has been rushed to the area. Air Force too launched a rescue operation from Kalaikunda air base.
Jharkhand police chief GS Rath said the helicopter was cordoned off, and civil aviation and BSF officials would look into the cause of the accident.
IGP (Operation) RK Malik said the black box was recovered from the accident spot in Siladon jungle.
Dismissing speculations of Maoist role in the crash, he said the chopper crashed following a technical snag and caught fire.
Maintained by Pawan Hans and used as logistic support in the anti-Maoist operations in the state, the chopper took off at 8.40 am from Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi for Chaibasa in West Singhbhum district, Malik said.
The helicopter crashed about twenty minutes after it took off, Malik said.