Asaram Bapu survives chopper crash, probe ordered

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 29, 2012 17:00 hrs

Ahmedabad/New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Spiritual leader Asaram Bapu and four others had a providential escape Wednesday when a private helicopter he was flying in crash-landed in Godhra in Gujarat, officials said.

Soon after the accident, the country's civil aviation regulator ordered a probe and rushed a team of investigators to the spot, they said.

Asaram Bapu and four others on board the chopper, however, sustained only minor injuries in the accident.

"The chartered helicopter Asaram Bapu and his followers were travelling in developed a technical snag prior to landing at Godhra Science College and fell from a considerable height," an official said.

The helicopter, flying in to land at unusually rapid speed, was captured on television cameras, and so was its nose hitting the ground after crash landing and resting on its sides with its rotar wings damaged.

Police said the spiritual guru and others had to be removed from the chopper by breaking open its glass panes. They were later rushed to a hospital run by his ashram.

Asaram Bapu was to address a two-day religious gathering organised at the college grounds.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has rushed its team to investigate the crash-landing.

"We have dispatched a team from Mumbai, which will travel to Godhra to look into the reasons behind the crash-landing," an official from the regulator told IANS in New Delhi.

"The team will look into all aspects of the crash. Nothing is being ruled out as of now. We are also in touch with the air traffic control at Ahmedabad," he said.

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