Dehradun: 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 today, adding that the chopper’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder also have been found.
Browne, who reached Gauchar hamlet in the morning, said: “We will be able to ascertain the reason for the crash only after analysing the cockpit voice recorder.”
He said there were no survivors among the 20 people on board. Air force officials said 12 bodies have been recovered so far.
Browne said the helicopter was carrying five personnel of the air force, six men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and nine from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
He said commandos had slithered down from a chopper to the crash site and reported that there were no survivors from the group.
Browne said the crash took place at 2 p.m. yesterday 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 (IAF 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 the 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, the air chief 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 today morning for Badrinath where there are about 3,000-4,000 people. At Harsil, there are 1,000 people left,” he said.
The NDRF listed names of nine of its personnel who were on board the helicopter. They were: Commandant Nitya Nand Gupta, 48, resident of Kanpur; Inspector Bhim Singh, 49, resident of Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir; Sub Inspector Satish Kumar, 44, resident of Bhiwani in Haryana; Constable K. Vinaygan, 28, resident of Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh; Constable Bassavaraj Yaragatti, 31, resident of Gadag in Karnataka; Constable Santosh Kumar Paswan, 24, resident of Koderma in Jharkhand; Constable Sanjiva Kumar, 27, resident of Balia in Uttar Pradesh; Constable Shashi Kant Ramesh Pawar, 31, resident of Dhulia in Maharashtra; and Constable Ahir Rao Ganesh, 32, resident of Jalgaon in Maharashtra.
The six ITBP personnel on board the helicopter were: Commandant Nand Ram, 27; Sub Inspector Jayender Prasad, 55; Constable Jomon P.G., 26; Constable Bibhuti Roy, 26; Constable Sarvesh Kumar, 31; and Constable Ajay Lal, 23.