Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was directly monitoring rescue operations in Mangalore, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Saturday adding that the central government was in constant touch with the Karnataka government on providing relief to the victims of the Air Indian Express 812 crash.
"The entire nation is in shock... Delhi (central government) is in shock. The prime minister is directly monitoring the rescue and rehabilitation operation," Antony told IANS.
"The first and foremost thing before the government is to rescue maximum number of lives. The government is currently concentrating on it," the defence minister said.
Describing it as the worst airline tragedy in the country, Antony said he had directed the defence ministry to deliver all help possible for rescue operations.
"No need to wait for an order from higher authorities. I have told them to do whatever help is required," he said.