South Asia

India helicopter crash site found in Arunachal Pradesh

Dorjee Khandu
Image caption Mr Khandu was travelling with four others

The wreckage of a helicopter carrying the chief minister of India's Arunachal Pradesh state has been spotted by search teams, officials say.

The helicopter carrying Dorjee Khandu and four others went missing on Saturday en route to Tawang from the state capital, Itanagar.

Three bodies have been seen in the wreckage near the Lugudhang area located at 4,900m.

Army rescue teams are tying to reach the site.

India's Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that the wreckage had been spotted in an area between Kyela and Lugudhang in Arunachal Pradesh, a location that "could have been" on the flight path of the helicopter.

A team of soldiers are on their way by foot to the crash site, he said.

India launched one of its biggest search operations, involving thousands of security forces, for the missing helicopter.

Reports said more than 10,000 people, including 3,000 security forces from India and neighbouring Bhutan, fighter jets and army helicopters were engaged in the five-day search in a mountainous, snow-clad region.

Mr Khandu's son, Tashi Tsering Khandu, had also joined the search operations by foot along with a team of 100 men.

The other passengers on the helicopter were Mr Khandu's security officer Yeshi Choddak and a relative of a state lawmaker, Yeshi Lamu, and two crew members JS Babbar and KS Malick.