Indian Rescue Chopper Crashes During Flood Evacuation

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
By George Hatcher

On Jun 25, 2013, an Indian Air Force Mil Mi-17 V5 newly acquired helicopter was on a rescue/medical mission assisting victims of floods in Northern India when it crashed in bad weather (rain and fog). An Indian newspaper says there were 19 aboard, including NDRF, ITBP and IAF personnel.

The helicopter was from Barrackpore Air Force Station in West Bengal under the Eastern Air Command.

The helicopter crashed near the pilgrimage site of Gaurikund. Flash floods in the area are having dire consequences.

According to one report, eight bodies were recovered, five of whom were crew. There appear to be no survivors of the crash.

At the time of the crash, the helicopter was on it’s third run. more than 7,500 people are reported as being still stranded by the flooding in the hills of Uttarakhand. Buildings are being washed away, and roads flooded.

A court of Inquiry has been convened to investigate the cause of the helicopter crash. The flight recorder has been recovered.

A later report amends 19 to 20 aboard. Twenty bodies have been recovered. The air chief marshal offered condolences on the death of 5 IAF, 6 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) 9 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel who died.

Air Force officials said their personnel on the chopper that crashed were: Wg Cdr Darryl Castelino, Flt Lt. K Praveen, Flt Lt Tapan Kapoor, JWO A.K. Singh and Sgt Sudhakar Yadav.

The NDRF personnel 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 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.

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