Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy’s chopper has been reportedly traced near Kurnool. An Air Force spokesperson has said the chopper has been located on top of a hill at a distance of 40 nautical miles east of Kurnool.
“As of now, we have located the helicopter. We are not sure whether it has crashed or not,” said Air Commodore Sagar Bharati of the Bangalore Air Command.
Air Force helicopters are flying over the region, trying to find a position to land. More details are awaited.
K V P Ramachandra Rao, Rajya Sabha member and a close aide of the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, also confirmed the chopper has been found.
The helicopter carrying YSR Reddy, two of his staff and two pilots went missing in pouring rain Wednesday morning over the Naxal and tiger-infested Nalamalla forests.
The CM left Hyderabad on a six-seater Bell chopper at 8.35am for Chittoor accompanied by his secretary and chief security officer. After 9.27am, radio contact was lost with the helicopter.
Soon after the chopper lost contact, multiple agencies of the state launched a massive hunt for possible wreckage in the desolate terrain. By evening, it expanded into the country’s biggest-ever search operation with satellites in the sky joining remote sensing aircraft, fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, troops on the ground and even barefoot deer-hunting tribals with bows and arrows.