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Ramakanta Biswas

One of the two pilots who was killed in the helicopter crash at an airport in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur on Thursday hailed from Sambalpur district of Odisha. 

Captain Gopal Krushna Panda was a native of Baham village in Sambalpur district. Another person killed in the mishap was identified as AP Shrivastava.

Speaking to OTV, Swasti Panda, the niece of the deceased said, “Captain Gopal Krushna Panda was my uncle (father’s elder brother). We got the news at around 10.30 pm on Thursday that he passed away in the unfortunate helicopter crash.”

“My family members have immediately left for Raipur. The post-mortem has not been conducted yet. The funeral will be conducted either in Raipur or our native village after the body is handed over to our family,” she said.

As per reports, the helicopter caught fire during landing killing both the pilots on board. There were no passengers on board.   

The mishap occurred during a flying practice at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur under Mana police station limits at around 9:10 pm.

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