'He had many stories of the survivors to tell'

Junior Warrant Officer Akhilesh Kumar Singh called up his father Vikramjeet Singh in Amethi Tuesday morning to tell him how they were working round-the-clock to help those stranded in the hills.

A retired school principal, Vikramjeet said his son told him that this is the first time in his 17 years of service in the IAF that he felt satisfied. "He also narrated the story of a couple from Barabanki and how they were rescued. He told me there were many more such stories he wanted to tell me after returning," Vikramjeet said.

Later, Vikramjeet was told about the helicopter crash and his son's death. Akhilesh, posted in Kolkata and staying there with wife and two children, was among five persons from UP killed in the crash.

IAF Sergeant Sudhakar Yadav, 35, was also posted in Kolkata. His father Maha Nand Yadav said he last spoke to his son Tuesday morning. "He told us how they were rescuing people," said Maha Nand Yadav, a school principal in Sant Kabir Nagar.

Family members of NDRF Commandant Nityanand Gupta said he last spoke to them four days ago. A native of Kanpur, Nityanand was the eldest of three sons of Manna Lal Gupta, who runs a fertilizer shop. Sarvesh Kumar of Jhansi, a constable in ITBP, got married seven months ago. Sanjiv Kumar, 25, a ITBP constable who died in the crash, was from Ballia.

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