Hyderabad: Twenty-four hours after it went off the radar, the chopper carrying Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy has been found on Rudrakonda hill in the dense Nallamalla forests at a distance of 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool town.
Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said in Delhi that it seems the helicopter has crash landed but there is no confirmation.
He said the Air Force was attempting to drop para commandos to the spot through ropes to look for survivors.
Other sources said that the helicopter has been found in a mangled state.
Inspector General of Police Rajiv Trivedi, who is leading the ground search operations, has also confirmed that the missing chopper has been traced. He is directing forces to the exact spot to physically verify the spot.
However, as of now, the fate of the Chief Minister, his Principal Secretary Subramanyam, Chief Security Officer A S C Wesley and the Pilot and Co-Pilot Group Captain S K Bhatia and Capt M S Reddy remains uncertain.
The IAF had broke the news about finding the chopper while remaining tight lipped on the condition of those on board.
“We have located the helicopter. It is on top of a hill at a distance of 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool. We are trying to find out if there are survivors. We are not sure if it has crashed or not,” Air Commodore Sagar Bharati of the Bangalore Air Command who is incharge of the search operations told reporters in Kurnool.
The 11-year-old Bell 430 helicopter had lost radio contact one hour after it took off the from the old Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad at 0835 hrs yesterday
In Delhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram met Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh to apprise him of the latest situation.