Indian state chief killed in helicopter crash

Congress party spokesman Tom Vadakkan said rescuers found five bodies at the crash site.

Indian state chief killed in helicopter crash

One of India's leading political kingmakers was killed in a helicopter crash, an official said on Thursday, potentially weakening the ruling Congress party in a key southern state.

Yedugiri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, helped engineer the Congress party-led coalition's victory in a general election in May. His state is home to many IT firms and outsourcing businesses, important elements of India's growing and globalising economy.

"We can confirm the death of the chief minister in a helicopter crash," a senior government official, who is not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters.

Reddy had been missing since his helicopter crashed in tiger-infested jungle hills on Wednesday.

Congress party spokesman Tom Vadakkan said rescuers found five bodies at the crash site.

Reddy was on a tour of a rural district when his Bell-430 helicopter went missing on Wednesday over a dense forest known to be a tiger habitat, as well as a stronghold of Maoist rebels.

It was not immediately known how the helicopter crashed but some officials said it had been caught in bad weather.

Officials launched a wide search after it went missing, deploying hundreds of police, soldiers and tribesmen from the area. Air force fighter jets were also deployed and a satellite took thermal imaging of the area.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Eylül 2009, 17:18
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