Six pilgrims and a woman pilot were killed when a chopper crashed in Katra, the base camp of the Vaishsnodevi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district.

The chopper of a private airliner, which was carrying pilgrims from Sanjichat helipad in Trikuta hills, crashed at new bus stand area in Katra, IGP Jammu, Danish Rana told PTI.

In the crash, seven persons including a woman flying officer were killed, DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range, Surinder Gupta said.

According to unconfirmed reports, the chopper caught fire while it was in the air but the pilot managed to avoid crashing in a populated area of Katra.

Many pilgrims opt for the helicopter service to reach the cave shrine while others trek on foot.

The shrine is located at a height of 5300 feet on the Trikuta Hills. Katra town is 50 Kms away from Jammu.