New Delhi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda's helicopter crashed in Ranchi, leaving him injured on Wednesday. This is not the first incident of such a crash involving a VVIP.
Following is a timeline of the crashes of the politicians' airplanes and helicopters in the past:
- On April 30, 2011, Arunachal Pradesh CM Dorji Khandu, who went missing on a flight from Tawang, died along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains. The five, including two pilots, who took off in a single-engined EuroCopter B8 of Pawan Hans.
Jharkhand Chief Minister's helicopter crash is a grim reminder of various crashes of politicians' aircraft.
- In Sept 2009, YSR Reddy's chopper fatally crashed in a dense forest when he was flying to a village in Chitoor district for launching a developmental scheme. YSR was confirmed dead Thursday, nearly 27 hours after the Bell 430 he was flying in went missing.
- Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, was killed when a glider he was flying crashed shortly after taking off from the Safdarjung airport in Delhi in 1980.
- Madhavrao Scindia, a senior Congress leader and a former cabinet minister, was killed in a plane crash on Sep 30, 2001 when he was travelling to Kanpur to address a public rally. Six people also lost their lives when the private plane carrying him went down near Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.
- Lok Sabha Sepaker and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader GMC. Balayogi died in a chopper crash March 3, 2002 in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
- Balayogi was travelling in a Bell 206 helicopter. An official probe established that the 2002 crash was caused when the pilot, unable to continue due to poor visibility and searching for an appropriate place to land, made an error of judgment by mistaking a pond to be a land surface.
- S Kumaramangalam, a Congress leader, died in a plane crash in 1973 near New Delhi.
- Haryana ministers OP Jindal, also a noted industrialist, and Surendra Singh were killed when the chopper carrying them went down near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh March 31, 2005.
- In May 2001, the Arunachal Pradesh education minister and five others were killed when their Pawan Hans craft crashed near Tawang because of poor visibility.
But there were many who escaped and survived:
- Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and union ministers Prithviraj Chauhan and Kumari Selja had a miraculous escape in 2004 when the rear portion of their chopper broke on landing at a helipad in Khanvel in south Gujarat.
- Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has survived one such chopper accident when it hit electrical wires soon after after taking off. The cables snapped and the chopper crashlanded from a relatively low height. Singh escaped.
- BJP president Rajnath Singh and his vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had a miraculous escape last year when they were travelling to Rampur. The chopper landed close to a pile of dry grass that caught fire. The pilot, however, immediately took off again and landed at a safe place.