- Chopper had to land soon after take-off due to technical trouble
- It crash-landed in Latur after getting entangled in wires
- "We are safe with the blessings of god and Maharashtra", he said
Dramatic visuals showed the Chief Minister's chopper taking off from a helipad in Nilanga, watched by a crowd, hovering in the air for some moments and then making a descent to the flashing of an emergency beacon. While landing from a height of a 10-storey building, the American-made Sikorsky helicopter was caught in wires and was badly damaged.
Officials say the accident could have been worse, that it's a "miracle" no one was hurt.
The Chief Minister is touring the state to review the progress of water and housing schemes and for a farmer outreach. He was in the chopper along with three more passengers and two crew members.
"Our helicopter did meet with an accident in Latur but me and my team is absolutely safe and ok.
Nothing to worry," Mr Fadnavis tweeted just after landing. In a video message, he thanked the people and said, "With the blessings of the people and God nothing happened to me...I request you to keep blessing me."
Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, "After take-off, the pilot found variable wind pattern and decided to land. During landing, the helicopter got entangled in wires. The helicopter has sustained substantial damage."
The incident is worryingly close to another one last week when the Chief Minister was forced to travel by road through a Maoist-affected area after his chopper developed a snag in Gadchiroli.
Union Minister Suresh Prabhu was among those who tweeted on the incident. "Shocked to hear about accident to Helicopter of @Dev_Fadnavis but glad to know he's is safe Wishing him the best," he posted.
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