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GAUHATI, India (AP) _ The Indian air force searched unsuccessfully Tuesday for a helicopter that disappeared in northeastern India with a state government minister and six others on board.

The missing helicopter took off from the town of Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh state Tuesday morning and lost contact with controllers minutes afterward, said Kishen Kumar, deputy inspector general of police.

Chartered by the state government, the helicopter was heading toward Rupa in the West Kameng district bordering Tibet. It was scheduled to then fly to neighboring Seppa.

The passengers included the state's education minister, Dera Natung, another education administrator, three employees of The Times of India newspaper, and two pilots, Kumar said.

He was unsure if the three Times of India representatives were journalists.

Kumar said an air force search helicopter found no trace of the missing helicopter in the mountains on Tuesday. The search was to continue on Wednesday.