Arunachal Pradesh ‘hump’

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Arunachal Pradesh ‘hump’

The Times of India

Northeast 'hump' a graveyard of flyers?

TNN | May 2, 2011, 04.29am IST

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh has a dubious history of recording large number of air crashes since World War II, when the Allies lost several aircraft in this eastern Himalayan region. The US defence department estimates that about 400 Allied airmen were killed in crashes caused mainly by poor visibility in what was then NEFA or the North Eastern Frontier Association.

The flight path over Arunachal, used by US aircraft to ferry supplies to Chinese forces battling the invading Japanese, was nicknamed the "Hump". The remains of some US aircraft are still occasionally located in the Arunachal Himalayas.

In November 1997, Union minister of state for defence NVN Somu, Major General Ramesh Nagpal and two others died when their Cheetah helicopter hit a 1,300ft peak 40km from Tawang.

In May 2001, Arunachal Pradesh education minister Dera Natung and five others were killed when their Pawan Hans aircraft crashed near Tawang because of poor visibility. Then, an IAF AN-32 aircraft crashed at Mechuka killing all 13 defence personnel onboard in 2009.

Eleven IAF personnel and an Army Lt colonel were killed when an Mi-17 helicopter crashed near the China frontier on November 19, 2010, only a minute after take-off.

Last month, a Pawan Hans chopper crashed in Tawang minutes before landing killing 17 people.

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