Kochi: A tragic accident occurred at the naval airbase INS Garuda in Kochi, Kerala, on Saturday, when a Chetak helicopter crashed during a ground maintenance check, killing a sailor and injuring two others. The helicopter was being used for training and had just taken off from the runway when it lost control and crashed, according to media reports.
The deceased sailor has been identified as Yogendra Singh, Leading Air Mechanic (LAM), who was part of the ground crew. He died after being hit by a rotor blade of the helicopter, which also damaged a nearby hangar. The two injured sailors, who were inside the helicopter, have been shifted to a naval hospital for treatment.
The Indian Navy has ordered a board of inquiry to investigate the causes of the accident, which is the second such incident involving a Chetak helicopter in Kochi in the last three years. In 2020, a Chetak helicopter made an emergency landing on a marshy land near the naval base due to a technical snag.
The Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and all Indian Navy personnel expressed their grief over the loss of life and paid tribute to Yogendra Singh, LAM. They also conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.