New Delhi: In a special gesture, Defence Minister A K Antony has written letters to the families of five IAF officials killed in Tuesday`s helicopter crash in Uttarakhand, conveying his condolence.
The minister sent the letters on Wednesday to the families, expressing profound sorrow over the loss the precious lives while carrying out search and rescue operations in the disaster-hit hill state, Ministry officials said.
The IAF officials killed in the Mi-17V5 chopper crash were Wing Commander Daryll Castellino, Flight Lieutenants T Kapoor and K Praveen, Junior Warrant Officer A K Singh and Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav.
Six men from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and nine from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also perished in the mishap that occurred near Gaurikund in difficult weather conditions. A day after the crash, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne visited Gauchar and met officers and men to boost their morale.
Army chief Gen Bikram Singh is expected to visit the flood-affected areas in the state on Friday where over 8,000 troops are deployed in operations to evacuate the stranded people.
He will be visiting Dehradun, Gauchar and Joshimath. The Army chief would be meeting with the Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in the Garhi Cantonment area in the state capital, Army officials said.