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Did Andhra CM's helicopter crash in Srisailam reservoir?

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
September 03, 2009 08:50 IST
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As the massive search operation to locate Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who went missing over Nallamalla forest in Kurnool district, resumed on Thursday morning, some new information has forced the authorities to  consider the possibility of the helicopter crashing in Srisailam reservoir
Some local fishermen have alerted the authorities that they have spotted the presence of oil in the backwaters of Srisailam reservoir on river Krishna in the area. The spot at Lingalagutta, where the fishermen claimed to see the oil, is within the five km radius where the search operations are going to be focussed on Thursday. Search operations were also being conducted at Neriganga, about 30 kms away from Srisailam.
If the helicopter crashed in the reservoir waters, the Emergency Locater Transmitter fitted in the chopper would not have been automatically activated, according to sources.
Carrying out a search across the reservoir will be a big challenge for the rescue team as due to the heavy inflows and incessant rains, the water level has been rising fast.
Sources said that the information gathered by the Sukhoi aircraft, during its sorties on Wednesday night over the area, will form the basis for the intensified ground-level search operations on Thursday.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the son of the missing chief minister, has also reached Atmakur in Kurnool district, which has become the hub of the search operations.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad