Thu, 03 Sep 2009 11:26:26 GMT

YSR dead, body recovered from crash site in Andhra

It’s official. Twenty four hours after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy disappeared while on his way from Hyderabad to Chittoor in AP, his body has been retrieved from the site atop a hill in the thickly forested area of Nallamala where his helicopter crash-landed.

The bodies of his YSR's special secretary P Subramaniam, Chief Security Officer ASC Weseley and that of a pilot have been recovered. The body of one pilot is yet to be found, sources said.

The BEL-430 chopper was piloted by Group Captain S K Bhatia and Captain M S Reddy.

YSR's wife Vijayalaxmi and family members were informed of the tragedy. While his son and Member of Parliament Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy camped in Kurnool to coordinate the search operations, YSR's daughter Sharmila and her children reached Hyderabad from Bangalore in the early hours of Thursday.

The chief minister's son-in-law evangelist Brother Anil Kumar is returning to Hyderabad by cutting short his visit to the US. Sources said that crack commandos who were dropped over the crash site found and retrieved the bodies. The bodies are being flown to Hyderabad were a post-mortem will be conducted.

Initial reports indicate that the chopper had a major crash. The reasons are yet to be ascertained.

Earlier, the Chief Minister's office was able to establish mobile connection links with Chief Security Officer Weseley. But he did not respond to repeated cell phone calls and SMS. BSNL had established signals to the area and official in Hyderabad were able to call and SMS the CSO. That gave a fair indication that there may not be any survivors.

There was utter shock and disbelief in the State Secretariat where senior ministers, officials and others had gathered. As the news trickled in, people around the secretariat were found dismayed. Close to the Secretariat, the Ganesh immersion ceremony which was taking place has been scaled down.

YSR, 60, had just completed 110 days in office in his second term when he met an untimely end.

Senior Congress leaders are in Hyderabad to assess the situation.

Source: India Syndicate

Related reports
Bodies of YSR, 4 others found at the crash site
YSR's chopper traced close to Kurnool
Mysterious silence of AP Chief Minister's copter

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