Twelve days after a Dhruv helicopter of the Army Aviation Corps crashed into the Ranjit Sagar reservoir, the body of Lt Col AS Baath, one of the pilots onboard, was recovered on Sunday evening.
“The mortal remains of Lt Col AS Baath retrieved from a depth of 75.9 metres. Efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the second pilot continue,” a senior Army officer said. The helicopter had taken off on a routine sortie from Pathankot on August 3 when it crashed into the reservoir near Kathua in the Jammu region. Only a part of the helicopter’s wreckage was recovered in the initial phase of the search. Divers from the Navy and the Army’s Special Forces have been involved in the search operations using multi-beam sonars, side scanners, remotely operated vehicles and underwater manipulators which have been flown in from Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi. The expansive reservoir is 25-km long, 8-km wide and over 150-metre deep. The National Disaster Response Force, Ranjit Sagar Dam Authority and the district administration as well as local residents are also involved in the search. — TNS