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Indian Minister killed in air crash
Shikha | 05 Sep 2009

NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has died in an air crash, the Prime Minister's Office said on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has died in an air crash, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday.
The bodies of 60-year-old Reddy, who led his Congress party to a spectacular second consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, and his Special Secretary P Subramanyam, chief security officer A S C Wesley, pilot Group Captain S K Bhatia and co-pilot M S Reddy were found on Rudrakonda Hill, 40 nautical miles east of here, besides the mangled remains of the helicopter.
Highly placed Congress sources in Delhi said that the bodies have been found and an official statement is expected shortly.

"The bodies will be taken to Hyderabad for post-mortem," a PMO official in Delhi told IANS.

The Union Cabinet is meeting to discuss the matter.

Andhra Pradesh finance minister K Rosaiah has been appointed caretaker CM.

The helicopter carrying YSR Reddy, two of his staff and two pilots went missing in pouring rain Wednesday morning over the Naxal and tiger-infested Nalamalla forests.

Nearly 24 hours after YSR's chopper went missing, it was located atop Serai Salem hill, at a distance 40 nautical miles (70 kms) east of Kurnool.

The CM left Hyderabad on a six-seater Bell chopper at 8.35am for Chittoor accompanied by his secretary and chief security officer. After 9.27am, radio contact was lost with the helicopter.

Soon after the chopper lost contact, multiple agencies of the state launched a massive hunt for possible wreckage in the desolate terrain. By evening, it expanded into the country's biggest-ever search operation with satellites in the sky joining remote sensing aircraft, fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, troops on the ground and even barefoot deer-hunting tribals with bows and arrows.

US envoy condoles death of Andhra chief minister

“The Chief Minister was a strong supporter of U.S-India friendship and our bilateral partnership, visible in the strong economic and family ties between the people of Andhra Pradesh and the United States,” Ambassador Roemer said.