Andhra Pradesh shuts down in grief

Principal Secretary S Subramanyam (R) and Chief Security Officer A S C Wesley who are on board Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy's chopper

Shopkeepers downed shutters and streets were deserted in the state capital as well as in cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati.

The silence that fell over the state was punctuated by muffled sobs and wails of the hundreds of people who rushed towards the chief minister's camp office in Begumpet here after it was confirmed that their beloved leader was no more.

Some of them fainted while crying inconsolably.
Emotional scenes were also witnessed at Gandhi Bhavan, the party headquarters. Not ready to believe that the chief minister was no more, some  of them requested the media not to air the news.
"I am sure he will come back," said a woman.
Many of those who reached Gandhi Bhavan, the chief minister's camp office and state secretariat were poor people, who had benefited by the various schemes launched by the chief minister during the last five years.

This is the first time in the state's history that a chief minister has died in an accident while in office.
In some places, Congress workers pitched black flags to  mourn the death of their leader.

After frantic search for the missing helicopter for 24 hours, the Indian Air Force (IAF) traced the wreckage on top of a hill in the forests in Kurnool district.

The chopper was found in a mangled state with the bodies of the chief minister, his special secretary P. Subrahmanyam, chief security officer A.S.C. Wesley, Group Captain S.K. Bhatia and Captain M.S. Reddy.

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