Leading South Indian actress Soundarya and her brother were among four people killed when the helicopter carrying them to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for BJP crashed minutes after it took off from the Jakkur airfield on the Bangalore city outskirts today.
The chopper caught fire and crashed soon thereafter charring all the four--Soundarya, her brother Amarnath, pilot Joy Philips and another person Ramesh Sadan--to death and reducing the helicopter to smithereens, police and BJP sources said.
Thirty-two-year-old Soundarya, who has acted with top stars in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, pairing with superstars like Rajnikant , Chiranjeevi and Mohanlal , had joined the BJP recently and had been campaigning vigorously for the party in Karnataka. She also acted with mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan in Sooryavansham She was married only a few months ago.
Director General of Police T Madiyal said the helicopter belonged to "Agni Aviation'. The bodies are beyond recognition.
A versatile actress, Soundarya was a recipient of the national award for her film "Dweepa" produced by her. A Kannadiga, she was extremely popular in Telugu cinema and has acted in over 60 movies in the four languages.
Chief Minister S M Krishna, who was on election campaign, and Karnataka BJP President H N Ananth Kumar rushed to the accident site.