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.
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.