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Posted on Dec 19, 07:19AM | UNI
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today ordered a CB-CID inquuiry in Begumpet Airport Fire Accident.
Chief Minister who is presently touring Visakhapatnam Tribal Agency in the district as part of his Indiramma Bata mass-contact programme, took stock of the situation.
In a major fire mishap, a chopper of the Andhra Pradesh government, meant for use by the Chief Minister, and five other aircraft parked in a hangar of the old airport at Begumpet here were destroyed.
The fire broke out around last midnight and it soon engulfed the hangar resulting in complete collapse of the shed, state fire department sources said.
Residents of the nearby locality claimed explosions were also heard.
According to sources here, 10 fire tenders from the state fire department and some other fire engines of the air force station at Hakimpet managed to bring the blaze under control after about three hours.
"The Augusta (Westland) helicopter of the state government and five other small aircraft of the aviation academy were destroyed in the fire. We will conduct a high-level inquiry by a senior official like (state) Home Secretary to find out the reasons for the fire and whether there is any sabotage angle to it " Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Infrastructure and Ports told reporters here .
"The helicopter was purchased in 2009 at an approximate cost of Rs 63 crores. Though we have insurance for it, this incident is very unfortunate. This incident occurred in a hangar in the airport. We need to bring out the truth by conducting an inquiry.
Alternative arrangements will be made for Chief Minister's travel," he said.
In 2008, the airport at Begumpet was closed for normal passenger services as the international airport came up at Shamshabad on city outskirts.