The bodies of five more defence personnelthat also claimed the life India’s first Chief of Defence Staff have been identified and are being transported to their respective hometowns, officials said on Saturday.
Thirteen lives were lost in the chopper crash in Tamil Nadu. Such was the severity of the crash that only three bodies could initially be identified — General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh Lidder.
The remaining bodies were kept at the Army Base Hospital in New Delhi and close family members were called in to help with the identification.
The armed forces personnel whose bodies were identified in the last few hours are Junior Warrant Officer (JWO) Pradeep, Wing Commander PS Chauhan, JWO Rana Pratap Das, Lance Naik B Sai Teja and Lance Naik Vivek Kumar.
The bodies will be sent by air to airports nearest to their homes. Prior to departure, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the base hospital to pay tribute to the personnel.
Junior Warrant Officer Pradeep’s coffin will land at 11 am at Sulur air base in Tamil Nadu from where it will be taken to his hometown Thrissur, about 124 km away.
The coffin of Wing Commander Chauhan will reach his hometown Agra at around 9.45 am.
A plane carrying Junior Warrant Officer Das’s coffin will reach Bhubaneswar at 12 pm, from where the body will then be taken to his village in Odisha’s Angul district.
Lance Naik B Sai Teja’s coffin will be flown to Bengaluru airport by 1 pm and then taken to his home in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.
The coffin of Lance Naik Kumar will reach the Gaggal airport in Himachal Pradesh at 11.30 am and then be taken to his home in Kangra district.