The Prime Minister Office (PMO) has confirmed the death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajshekhera Reddy and four others after their Bell 430 chopper crash-landed about 40 nautical miles east of the Kurnool mountainous area.
The body of Reddy's principal secretary has also been recovered.
AdvertisementCongress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to leave for Hyderabad shortly.
The reports of five bodies being discovered at the crash site as been received, and an official confirmation would be forthcoming in short while. Among the dead are Reddy, his principal secretary, his personal security officer and two pilots.
Earlier, Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the chopper was in a very damaged state.
The Home Ministry had ordered paratroopers to immediately airdrop themselves at the location to determine the exact physical status of Reddy and the four others.
The State Government is due to address a press conference in a short while to formally confirm the news of his death.
The Congress party is reported to be in a state of shock and the Union Cabinet is meeting to discuss the next steps.