Gauchar: "Why are the Gods so angry that they are even killing the saviours who are rescuing the sea of humanity in Uttarakhand?" an IAF squadron leader blurted when he got the news of the chopper crash.
The Gauchar helipad saw varied emotions from the air warriors who are here for the IAF`s largest airlift operation.
While some officers and men were angry over the tragedy, a few others tried to control their grief by quietly strolling on the tarmac which had 13 choppers this evening.
Hoping against hope, the IAF men were seen asking their officials in control stations and seniors to see whether there were news that the Mi-17 crew coming from Gaurikund "was safe and just only hurt".
The ill-fated Mi-17 helicopter had made two sorties to the Kedarnath area since this morning and was on its third sortie when it crashed.
"We left nothing to chance...Even went beyond the call of duty...Tried getting more and more people safe but I think we still were not blessed," another IAF officer said.
Some of the victims, rescued from Kedarnath Valley by IAF choppers, felt they had lost someone close and personal.
"They (IAF personnel) were blessed children. They put their lives at stake to save us. This should not have happened to them," Savitri Mishra, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, said.
An IAF helicopter had rescued her today after she was stranded for six days in Gaurikund.