By NVONews.Com Staff Correspondent,
Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who suffered injuries in a helicopter accident at the Birsa Munda Airport here on Wednesday, is not the first VIP to get injured or killed in chopper crash in the last few years.
Though a thorough probe would help know the real cause of the accident, the truth is that the over-use or rampant misuse of helicopter as well as the pilot running it are also contributing to the sudden rise in such mishaps. Some politicians are using chopper to cover very small distance too, when they could have easily availed the service of car or train. One chief ministers even took a helicopter to cover less than 20 kms from his residence in the state capital itself.
Arjun Munda, along with his wife, an MLA and a security officer, were returning to Ranchi from Kuchai in Saraikela-Kharsawan district, about 100 km from the state capital, after his chopper could not land there.
If Munda was lucky there were many unlucky ones too among politicians. On Sep 2, 2009 the then Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajashekhara Reddy died when the helicopter in which he was flying crashed in a remote hill, 74 km from Kurnool. It took more than 24 hours to find the wreckage and five bodies. Reddy was 60.
Fifty-six year old Congress leader and former Union minister, Madhavrao Scindia, along with five journalists and a pilot, died when a small plane in which they were flying crashed near Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh on Sep 30, 2001. He was on way to Kanpur, where he was to address a public meeting.
Just five months later on March 3, 2002 the then Lok Sabha Speaker, G M C Balayogi, died on a chopper crash in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
Haryana minister O P Jindal, also a noted industrialist, and another politician, Surendra Singh, died in a similar mishap in Sahranpur in UP on March 31, 2005.
S Kumaramangalam, another Congress leader died in a plane crash way back in 1973. Sanjay Gandhi too died when his glider crashed in Delhi on June 23, 1980. But these two mishaps were of different nature.
Like Arjun Munda former Punjab chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh, former BJP president, Rajnath Singh and party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and present Maharahstra chief minister Prithviraj Chauhan and Union minister Kumari Shelja, Janata Dal (United) MP, Monazir Hasan, are some of those who survived such mishaps.
Aviation experts say the helicopter crash rate is much higher––almost three times more––in comparison to that of commercial planes.
Incidentally, former Union minister and senior Congress leader, Rajesh Pilot, was the only one to die of road mishap in recent past in Dausa district of Rajasthan. His Maruti Gypsy collided headed on with a bus on June 11, 2000.