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Seven people dead in Kashmir helicopter crash

A helicopter has crashed in the Indian-administered region of Kashmir, killing all the six people on board as well as the female pilot.

The helicopter went down minutes after taking off from the town of Katra, near the Vaishnodevi shrine located some 60 kilometers northeast of the region's main city of Jammu last Monday.

“Seven people – six pilgrims and the lady pilot – died in the crash. We are investigating the cause of the accident,” Inspector General Danish Rana said.

The helicopter, which belonged to the privately-run Himalayan Heli Services, caught fire soon after takeoff, sources said.

Initial inquiries indicated that the single-engine chopper, which was built in 2010, could have crashed due to a bird hit.

Every year millions visit Vaishnodevi, one of the major pilgrim centers of India. Some pilgrims take private helicopters to and from Katra in the Trikuta hills instead of travelling by road.

Earlier in February, a helicopter crashed north of Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, killing two pilots. AGENCY

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