Maharashtra chief minister's office denies Devendra Fadnavis was involved in helicopter accident

Mumbai: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' office has denied occurrence of any incident involving his helicopter in which he was said to have escaped unhurt.

The chopper which Devendra Fadnavis was to alight from Alibaug. Image courtesy: Sanjay Sawant

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis near his chopper. Image courtesy: Sanjay Sawant

An official had earlier on Friday claimed that Fadnavis escaped unhurt in a freak incident in which his helicopter lifted off and tilted over him even as he waited near its door to board it on his way back to Mumbai from Raigad. Seeing the chopper tilt over the chief minister, his security personnel rushed and pulled him away to safety, the official had claimed.

But the CMO strongly denied occurrence of any such incident saying there was no accident at all. "Rumours are being spread that the the helicopter was involved in an accident. There was no such accident. People should not believe rumours," it said.

Fadnavis had gone to Raigad on Friday to attend the birthday celebrations of PWP leader Jayant Patil and to inaugurate an auditorium.

An initial probe conducted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) into the incident had prima-facie found lapses on the part of the pilot.

"The pilot failed to assess the load on the helicopter on a day of high temperature. Since heat makes it harder for a chopper/aircraft to get off the ground, he should not have taken off with almost full load," an AAIB official had said.

It was the third time Fadnavis was involved a helicopter-related scare. On 25 May, he had a narrow escape when his chopper got entangled in overhead wires and crash-landed in Latur district of Maharashtra after the pilot tried to descend due to bad weather soon after the take-off. The state government's six-year-old Sikorsky chopper was damaged beyond repair in the 25 May accident.

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2017 16:33 PM

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