Andhra Pradesh CM, YSR Reddy, perishes in chopper crash

New Delhi: It has now been made clear that Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, missing since yesterday morning on a helicopter flight, has died in a crash.  Army commandos, who slithered down ropes onto the crash site from helicopters have apparently reported back that there are no survivors.

The government confirmed Thursday morning that the helicopter was eventually located atop Serai Salem hill, 49 nautical miles (70kms) east of the district town of Kurnool.

Apart from YSR Reddy, the six-seater Bell helicopter was also carrying his secretary and chief security officer, along with the pilot and a co-pilot. The helicopter went missing Wednesday morning in a huge forested area, called the Nallamalla forests, that are reputedly Naxal and tiger-infested.

Contact with the helicopter was lost after 9.30 am Wednesday morning.

Confusion persists over the number of bodies recovered from the site, with reports suggesting that bodies of only four of the five people who boarded the flight have been located. The pilot's body apparently is yet to be located. However, other reports suggest that all five bodies may have been recovered.

The Government of India will make an official announcement only after official formalities, such as post mortem on the dead, have been conducted.