The mortal remains of four Indian Air Force personnel and two Indian Army soldiers who died in the military helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu earlier this week has been completed.
Thirteen of the 14 people on board the Mi-17V5 helicopter, including India’s first chief of defence staff (CDS), his wife Madhulika Rawat were among those killed after it crashed on December 8.
Earlier, the bodies of General Rawat his wife and his defence assistant Brigadier LS Lidder, whose bodies were positively identified, were cremated with full military honours in the Brar Square crematorium in the national capital on Friday.
The Indian Army said that Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik B Sai Teja, who lost their lives in a military chopper crash on December 8, have been positively identified.
The mortal remains have been released to close family members on Saturday morning, according to the Indian Army.
“Mortal remains will move by air for last rites with appropriate military honour. The wreath will be laid at Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment prior to the departure. The process for positive identification of remaining mortal remains is continuing,” the Army said.
The other defence personnel who died in the crash have been identified as Junior Warrant Officers Arakkal Pradeep and Rana Pratap Das, Wing Commander PS Chauhan and Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh.
The bodies of the victims were flown from Sulur near Coimbatore to the Palam airbase Thursday evening in caskets wrapped in the Tricolour.
The Army has informed that the process for positive identification of remaining mortal remains was continuing.
Other defence forces personnel who died in the chopper crash include CDS Rawat’s Staff Officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh and Naik Jitendra Kumar.
Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor in the crash, has been shifted to Air Force Command hospital at Bengaluru for further treatment.
The Indian Air Force has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the military chopper crash.