Bir, April 9: A tragic paragliding accident at Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh, has claimed the life of Ritu Chopra, a 54-year-old woman from Noida. On Sunday, April 7, Ritu, an experienced pilot, took off for a solo flight alongside her husband, Wing Commander (Retd) Ashutosh Chandra Chopra. Unfortunately, moments after takeoff, a sudden change in wind currents resulted in a devastating crash landing near Thati village in Baijnath tehsil.

According to a report by the Times of India, Ritu's glider crashed after being hit by a massive ball of turbulent air, causing her to lose control and crash into the Dhauladhar hills. Despite Wing Commander Ashutosh's valiant efforts to reach her and render aid, Ritu succumbed to her injuries before she could be transported to the hospital. As per a report by the Hindustan Times, authorities speculate that adverse weather conditions may have caused the accident, as sudden changes in wind patterns are common in the hilly terrain of Bir Billing.  Paragliding Deaths in Himachal Pradesh: Three Paragliders Die in Seven Days in Bir-Billing, Fatalities Raise Safety Concerns.

Kangra superintendent of police, Shalini Agnihotri, confirmed that investigations are underway to ascertain the exact circumstances leading to the crash. Additionally, a meeting has been scheduled by the Kangra administration to review safety protocols and prevent similar incidents in the future. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in Bir Billing, as the region has recently witnessed a spate of paragliding accidents. The lack of stringent regulations and oversight from the state tourism department has exacerbated safety concerns, leading to a rise in mishaps and fatalities. Paragliding Deaths in Himachal Pradesh: Three Paragliders Die in Seven Days in Bir-Billing, Fatalities Raise Safety Concerns.

The tragic incident has shed light on the inherent risks associated with paragliding, especially in regions like Bir Billing, which is known for its unpredictable weather patterns and challenging terrain. Despite being an experienced pilot with nine years of flying under her belt, Ritu's life was cut short due to uncontrollable turbulence and adverse weather conditions. Bir Billing, renowned as one of the top paragliding destinations globally, attracts enthusiasts from far and wide.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 09, 2024 12:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website