The Return Home Search and rescue teams, Members of the helicopter squadron, and bodies of the soldiers killed at the helicopter crash in Romania, will be returning home after three excruciating days. The planes are expected to land in Israel by Friday

Search and rescue teams retrieved the last body of the soldiers killed in the helicopter crash earlier this week in Romania.

The tough mission was further exacerbated by the harsh weather and rugged terrain conditions at the crash site area. The bodies were taken to the Forensics Institute in the city of Brashov, for identification by the IDF Rabbinate (the religious service unit).

Brig. Gen. Shaharbani, Commander of the helicopter section, whose in charge of the rescue operation in Romania, said yesterday: “The crash took place at a mountainous area, in a very difficult to access area. In addition, severe weather conditions, with dense fog, heavy rain, and low temperatures persisted throughout the rescue efforts. With all these, we are determined to move forward and accomplish the mission of returning our sons home”.

The Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan said yesterday that it appears that while flying in a formation, the helicopters came across dense clouds. One helicopter turned away to avoid the clouds, while the other (that eventually crashed) attempted to perform an emergency assent to avoid the cloud. During the assent the helicopter collided with the mountain and crashed.

The practice, which began about two weeks ago, will reach its tragic end this weekend. Air Force representatives are constantly with the families of the killed servicemen.

The bodies of the Israeli soldiers will be returned home this weekend:

Lt.-Col.(Res.) Avner Goldman, 48, from Modi’in. 
Lt.-Col, (Res.) Daniel Shipenbauer, 43, from Moshav Kidron. 
Major Yahel Keshet, 33, from Hatezerim. 
Major Lior Shai, 28, from Tel Nof
Lieut. Nir Lakrif, 25, from Tel Nof. 
Lt. Nir Lakrif, 25, from Kiryat Ata. 
Sgt. Maj. Oren Cohen, 24, from Rehovot.

One romanian serviceman also lost his life in the crash: Stefan-Claudiu Dragnea, 31, a captain with the Romanian Air Force Staff.

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