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Odisha flight engineer killed in IAF copter crash


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Atabira (Bargarh), July 27:

A flight engineer of Indian Air Force (IAF) Debendra Panda from Odisha was among the seven IAF personnel killed in a helicopter crash at Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh on Friday.

Debendra Panda, killed in crashThis was informed by the family members of Panda at Judapali village of Kadobahal panchayat under Atabira block of Bargarh district on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the family members have rushed to Sitapur to bring back the body of Panda.

The 36-year-old Odia pilot had joined the IAF as a flight engineer at the age of 18.

He had married Jyotirmayee Tripathy of Bhoipura village under Atabira block eight years ago.

After staying for some years at Jammu, Panda was recently posted at Bareilly and was staying with his wife and his 6-year-old daughter.

The incident took place when the pilot of the IAF helicopter ‘Dhruv’, which was on its way to Allahabad, lost control following an engine failure. As a result, the copter crashed on the field at Ahiriwa village of Sitapur district at about 5 PM on Friday killing all seven personnel, including Panda, on board.

A pall of gloom has descended on Judapali village following Panda’s death.


  1. A sad demise.The dedicated services of Sahid Debendra Panda will be remembered by one & all.A great soul.

  2. When this Saheed’s body was brought to Sambalpur none of the elected representative was present neither was there anybody from the district administration to pay respect to this martyr who laid his life serving the country. Why the people of Odisha are so insensitive to their own son on his last journey? We are able to live peacefully and sleep at night without bothering what’s happening on the border because of people like Sgt D Panda. Oh I forgot, Odisha has no border! So why people of Odisha will bother when someone serving for country dies? Wake up Odisha and Odisha government, at least have some self respect to honour those who are serving selflessly. In any case Odisha has the dubious distinction of being the state to honour least its martyr be it in terms of recognition or financial assistance.

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