Helicopter carrying Hindu pilgrims crashes in India, kills 7

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A helicopter bringing Hindu pilgrims from a popular temple site in the Indian Himalayas crashed Tuesday in foggy weather, an official said, killing all six passengers and one pilot on board.

C. Ravishankar, a top Uttarakhand state aviation official, said the helicopter caught fire and broke into pieces after hitting the ground. He said poor visibility in foggy weather appears to have caused the crash, and an inquiry has been ordered.

Officials said the helicopter was operated by a private company that ferries pilgrims to and from a shrine high up in the mountain.

The Kedarnath temple of Hindu god Shiva is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand state. It sits at an elevation of 3,583 meters (11,755 feet) and is open to devotees only during the summer season of April-November.

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This version has been updated to correct that the Kedarnath temple is at an elevation of 3,583 meters, not 1,311 meters.

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