Constables Shashikant Pawar of Dhule and Ganesh Ahirrao of Jalgaon are among the nine National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel killed in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash in Gaurikund,Uttarakhand,Tuesday.
The personnel belonging to the 8th battalion of NDRF based in Ghaziabad,Uttar Pradesh,were killed as the chopper lost control.
The helicopter,MI-17 V5,carrying 20 personnel of Air Force,Indo-Tibetan Border Patrol and NDRF was returning to a temporary base in Gaucher from Badrinath.
NDRF said all bodies had been recovered. Since the bodies are badly charred,DNA samples would be collected to identify the personnel.
Shashikant (32),whose family lives in Betawat village,was with NDRF for the past 10 years. He had participated in several rescues in the past too.
He was about to begin the 11th year of his service with NDRF and was to go to Afghanistan for training. He was dedicated to his job, said friend Pravin Pawar.
Shashikant leaves behind wife Suvarna (26),son Ayush (3) and mother Kamal. His older brother Kishor is in the Army and is posted in Delhi. He will bring the body home, said Pravin. Ganesh,who served NDRF for nine years,last spoke to his mother in Chalisgaon Monday while in the thick of action.
He could not talk for long. Wednesday morning,we were informed of his death, said younger sister Kavita.
His wife Yogita (25),son Ansh (3) and eight-month-old daughter Mayuri are in Hardwar,where Ganesh and his colleagues had been living. Another man from our village,also in NDRF,will bring them home once body is released.
Said Sandeep Rathore,inspector-general,NDRF,The men died in the line of duty. They are heroes of the force. The morale of our men is high. Kedarnath is the toughest area for rescue and we have been assigned it because we are trained for such missions.