New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed his condolences to the families of IAF personnel who lost their lives in a helicopter crash during relief operations in Uttarakhand.
"The Prime Minister talked to Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne to extend his condolences to the families of Air Force personnel who lost their lives during the rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand," a government release said.
It said the Prime Minister expressed confidence in the airforce and its capability to overcome this tragedy and continue the arduous task in Uttarakhand.
"Your men have done heroic work in treacherous circumstances and saved thousands of lives," Singh told the Air Chief.
"The country is grateful to the members of the armed forces for their selfless and determined effort in helping the people in the aftermath of the disaster," he said.
Twenty people, including five IAF personnel, lost their lives in the crash that took place yesterday in Gaurikund near Kedarnath. After the crash, Browne visited Uttarakhand to boost the morale of the air force personnel there.
Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh is also expected to visit the flood-affected areas in the state where over 8,000 troops are deployed in operations to evacuate the stranded people.