A helicopter carrying back six pilgrims and a pilot from the Kedarnath temple crashed on Tuesday amid poor visibility. All seven died.
The chopper burst into flames close to Garud Chatti and Jungle Chatti, Rudraprayag District Disaster Management Officer Nandan Singh said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami has ordered a probe. He also expressed grief.
“Very sad news has been received about the casualties of some people in the unfortunate helicopter crash at Garuda Chatti near Kedarnath. The SDRF and district administration teams have reached the spot for relief and rescue work. A detailed inquiry has been ordered into this tragic incident,” he tweeted.
The incident took place around 11:40 AM. The chopper was heading towards Guptkashi. The cause of the accident will be known after a proper investigation,” C Ravi Shankar, CEO, Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority, said.
The SRDF (State Disaster Response Force) teams and local police were rushed to the accident site soon after the accident.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said his ministry is constantly monitoring the situation.
“The helicopter crash in Kedarnath is extremely unfortunate. We are in touch with the state government to ascertain the magnitude of the loss, and are constantly monitoring the situation,” he said in a tweet.
A senior civil aviation ministry official said the helicopter involved in the crash was operated by Aryan Aviation.
“According to the preliminary information, a Bell 407 helicopter VT-RPN crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi, possibly due to bad weather,” a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.
The chopper was operated by a private firm – Ayan Aviation Pvt. Ltd.
“As per the preliminary information received, a Bell 407 helicopter registered as VT-RPN belonging to a Delhi based Aryan Aviation crashed on the way from Kedarnath to Guptkashi,” an official said.