Indian officials have sworn in a replacement for Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. R. Reddy who was killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday.
Officials say Finance Minister K. Rosaiah was sworn Thursday as the state's caretaker leader shortly after investigators announced they had found the mangled, burnt wreckage of the helicopter that crashed with Reddy and four other people. Officials lost contact with the helicopter shortly after it took off from Hyderabad Wednesday on a flight to the southern Chittoor district. They found the wreckage and remains in a densely wooded area, following an almost 24-hour search that included sophisticated aircraft, satellites and even spear-toting tribal villagers. Investigators do not know what caused the crash but they say there were heavy winds and rain in the region at the time.
Mr. Reddy was a leading figure in India's ruling Congress Party, and he played a role in the party's recent election victories. He was praised for his programs that benefited the poor. National flags are being flown at half-staff Friday to mourn his death.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is among the dignitaries expected to attend his funeral. Mr. Singh said the Congress Party has lost "an outstanding leader."Hundreds of Mr. Reddy's distraught supporters prayed and wept in front of his home in Hyderabad after officials confirmed his death.