He­li­copter crash kills pil­grims in Kash­mir

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

SRINAGAR: A he­li­copter fly­ing pil­grims from a moun­tain tem­ple ded­i­cated to a Hindu god­dess crashed yes­ter­day, killing seven peo­ple in the In­dian-con­trolled por­tion of Kash­mir. Po­lice of­fi­cer Sameer Kot­wal said the he­li­copter caught fire as it hit the ground near its land­ing site in Ka­tra town.

Res­cuers re­cov­ered the bod­ies of the six pil­grims and the pi­lot, Kot­wal said. The cause of the accident is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. The he­li­copter be­longed to a com­pany that op­er­ates flights to Vaishno Devi tem­ple, which is in a cave in the Hi­malayas at a height of 5,300 feet (1,600 me­ters). The he­li­copter trip is pop­u­lar with pil­grims who find it dif­fi­cult to trek to the tem­ple. The area is 50 kilo­me­ters (30 miles) north of Jammu, the win­ter cap­i­tal of In­dia’s Jammu-Kash­mir state. Ev­ery year, more than 10 mil­lion peo­ple visit the tem­ple, which is ded­i­cated to god­dess Ma­ha­lak­shmi. — AP

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