Updated: June 25, 2015 12:16:41 am
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had a narrow escape Wednesday when the red carpet laid out for him was blown into the air and got entangled in the rotor blades of his helicopter while it was landing at Haldia Dock Complex (HDC).
The red carpet at the helipad ground here was routinely laid out as part of the guard of honour for visiting VIPs. As the Pawan Hans helicopter, which Gadkari had boarded from the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, was landing, its rotors created a gust of strong wind and the rug was blown into the air and got caught in the rotors. The pilot, however, managed to manoeuvre the helicopter to a safe landing.
Gadkari’s office latter issued a statement saying the minister was absolutely safe.
“The carpet got dislodged from the ground due to sudden wind. There was no fault either on the part of the arrangement nor on the part of the pilot in following the DGCA-approved route,” it said in a statement.
Gadkari, who was here to attend a programme, told reporters that carpet or flags should not have been placed (near the landing site). “They should be careful about it,” he said. “Cloth got stuck in the wings of my helicopter while it was landing. But there is no accident. I am safe,” he said.
Visuals on TV channels showed that carpets and tarpaulin sheets placed near the helipad started to fly when the chopper was landing.
The director general of civil aviation has sought a report about the incident.
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