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Massive search operation resumes for YSR

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
Last updated on: September 03, 2009 08:41 IST
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The massive search operation, to locate the missing helicopter of Andhra Pradesh Chief MinisterY S Rajasekhara Reddy, resumed at 6 am on Thursday morning, with three special aircraft and five helicopters.
Atmakur, a small town in the Nallamalla forest area, has become the nerve centre of the operation as hundreds of personnel from various forces, including the state police and paramilitary, reached the place to comb the forest area.
Approximately 12 Congress legislators and many other leaders, who are involved in the search operation, resumed their activities from 5 am as the visibility improved.
The aircraft pressed in to service for the search operation have the capability and the equipment to pick up any signal from the Emergency Locators Transmitter of the missing Bell-430 helicopter. The aircraft include Dornier as well as a special plane of the Andhra Pradesh government, state Chief Secretary P Ramakant Reddy said.
"We need some time to receive the reports from the command and control centre at Kurnool," Reddy said.
The state-of-the-art Sukhoi fighter planes might also be deployed to scan the region.
Crucial technical input has also been provided by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, which found that the signals from the chief minister's mobile were picked up by two towers in the region, suggesting that the helicopter might have landed somewhere between these two towers.

Reports from Atmakur region said that the rains had stopped on Thursday morning. The visibility in the area had improved and the conditions were conducive for the search operation.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad