With 2,000 people left to be evacuated from places including Badrinath and Harsil, the defence forces have deployed around 50 helicopters and over 8,000 troops in flood-hit Uttarakhand.
A survivor pleads with a soldier to allow him to board a helicopter Badrinath in Uttarakhand. (Reuters)
The IAF has deployed 37 choppers along with 13 helicopters of the Army. Together, they have flown 84 sorties in the last 24 hours for evacuating the stranded pilgrims in the state, a defence ministry release said.
The armed forces have been successful in bringing out over 650 people from the pilgrimage town of Badrinath and Harsil in the last 24 hours, it said.
In the operations which started on June 17, the two forces have deployed over 60 choppers which have flown 2,518 sorties and overall evacuated around 46,000 people from the higher reaches of the state.
Meanwhile, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne received the bodies of the five IAF personnel who were killed in a helicopter crash on Tuesday.
The Airforce also carried out a mission using its ALH Dhruv choppers in Gaurikund to bring the bodies from the crash site for postmortem and for DNA analysis at Dehradun.
Wing Commander Daryll Castellino, Flight Lieutenants Tapan Kapoor and K Praveen, Junior Warrant Officer AK Singh and Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav were among the 20 people who lost their lives in the chopper crash.