Bodies of Uttarakhand crash victims recovered

Published: 26th June 2013 05:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2013 06:45 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

The bodies of those killed in the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash in Uttarakhand have been recovered, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne said Wednesday.

Browne, who reached Gauchar town in the morning, said: "All 20 bodies have been recovered. The cockpit voice recorder has also been found.

"We will be able to ascertain the reason for the crash only after analysing the cockpit voice recorder," he added.

The air force chief expressed grief on the death of personnel Tuesday belonging to the IAF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The crash of MI-17 V5 chopper claimed the lives of nine men of NDRF, six of ITBP and five of IAF.

Browne said the accident took place at 2 p.m. Tuesday in an area around Gaurikund when the chopper was returning from Badrinath.

"There were actually three helicopters -- one 10 minutes ahead and the other 10 minutes behind," he said

"They (military personnel) are proud to be here and proud to be doing the job. I am extremely happy with the way they are performing," he said.

"It is a marvellous performance not just by our people but also by the ITBP, army and NDRF.

"We are doing a great job and we need to hang on there. The period will last for another 8-10 days," he added.

Giving details of the rescue operations, he said there were not many people left to be evacuated "except four ITBP people in Kedaranth".

"We have work to be done in the Harsil Valley and Badrinath areas. Two helicopters left Wednesday morning for Badrinath where there are about 3,000-4,000 people. At Harsil, there are 1,000 people left."

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