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One dead as helicopter crashes in Mumbai

One dead as helicopter crashes in Mumbai
A private helicopter crashed near Aarey Colony in suburban Goregaon on Sunday, killing the pilot and injuring three others, a mishap which will be probed by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).

Private mini helicopter (VT PHB) with a pilot, technician and a couple was on joyride from Juhu to Goregaon (film city), a senior police officer said.

The chopper was on return journey when it crashed in a field at Aarey colony at around 12 PM, the officer said.

All the four occupants, were rushed to a hospital, where doctors declared the pilot, Prafulla Mishra (53) brought dead, DCP Zone-12, Kirankumar Chavan, said.

The other three have been identified as Ritesh Modi, Vrinda Modi and Sanjiv Shankar, who have sustained severe burn and fracture injuries, the doctor said, adding, they were undergoing treatment at ICU ward of hospital.

Apex aircraft investigation body, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) will probe the helicopter crash in Goregaon.

Aviation regulator DGCA has already started collecting evidence from the crash site which would help the AAIB in its probe, a senior official said.

"The DGCA officials are already on the crash site to collect evidence for probe. Since, ab initio its an accident, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) will be conducting a probe into it. We are sending a team of investigators to Mumbai tomorrow to start the probe," a senior AAIB official said.

"I was working in my field this morning, when I saw the helicopter flying at low height. It later crashed near my house in the field," said Lakma Page, an eye-witness.

"I rushed to the site and saw two passengers hanging out of the chopper with belt tied around their bodies. While we were pulling the woman, I saw flames emanating from her seat. Then I left her and tried to douse the flames with water," he said.

"With the help of others, who were working on the field, we pulled all the four occupants out and rushed them to a near by hospital," he said.

The pilot was unconscious when we rescued him, while the woman had sustained grievous burn injuries, he added.

We then informed police control room following which the police arrived 30 to 45 minutes later, the eyewitness said.

Fire Brigade official said they received the call at 12:19 pm and arrived at the spot by 12.45 pm. Three fire engines were rushed to the spot and fire has been contained, the official added.
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