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Seven Killed in a Helicopter Crash in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir

Seven killed in a helicopter crash in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir.

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The site of the helicopter crash. (Photo Courtesy: ANI screengrab)

Seven people – the pilot and six passengers – were killed in a helicopter crash in Katra region of Jammu and Kashmir, reports say.

Those who were aboard the flight are believed to be pilgrims returning from the Vaishno Devi temple in Katra, Reasi district of J&K.

The chopper of a private airliner, which was carrying the pilgrims from Sanjichat helipad in Trikuta hills, crashed at the new bus stand area in Katra, IGP Jammu, Danish Rana said.

According to unconfirmed reports, the chopper caught fire mid-air and the pilot averted the crash in a populated area in Katra.

The shrine is located at a height of 5300 feet on the Trikuta Hills. Katra is 50 km from Jammu.

Those killed included a newly wedded couple. The deceased have been identified as Pilot Sumita Vijayn from Hyderbad, Arjun Singh, Mahesh and Vandana from Jammu, Sachin, Akshita (5) and Aaryanjeet from Delhi.

The chopper belongs to Himalayan Heli service and is a 2010 make.

As per the Additional Chief Executive Officer (ACEO), Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Ajit Kumar Sahu, the passengers have a 25 lakh insurance cover.

In addition the Shrine Board has announced ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh for each of those killed including the pilot. “The next of kin of every passenger shall be given Rs 28 lakh,” Sahu said while express condolence to the bereaved families.

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