Tourist who recorded helicopter moments before crash share details with police
A tourist, who shot the video of IAF Mi17V5 helicopter moments before its crash has recounted the final moments of the tragedy that claimed the lives of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others
The video, which has gone viral, was shot by Joe Paul, a photographer from Ramanathapuram in Coimbatore. He had accompanied his friend Nazar, who runs a printing press in Gandhipuram, and his family members on a trip to Ooty on December 8.
On that day, we parked our car along the roadside in Katteri and reached the mountain railway track to take photos. “Around 12.20 pm, I heard the sound of a helicopter flying above and started to record a video of it. The helicopter was found only for a few seconds and then disappeared into the heavy fog. No sooner, a loud noise was heard. We all were shocked and feared something amiss had happened,” said Joe.
The video, running upto 19 seconds, also shows one among the tourists asking if the flight had fallen and the other replying yes. Then, they went in search of the helicopter, but couldn’t find it.
As the news of the helicopter crash began to flash on televisions, the tourists had gone to the District Collector office, where they were directed to Coonoor police station.
“We then visited the Coonoor station and shared the video and our mobile phone numbers with a cop involved in the security arrangements along the road, before returning to Coimbatore. Our video has now become crucial evidence in the helicopter crash incident,” said Nazar.
They both visited the Coimbatore commissioner office on Friday to share the details of the tragic moments with police.