Lieutenant Colonel Erez Sachyani and Major Chen Fogel
Lieutenant Colonel Erez Sachyani and Major Chen FogelCourtesy of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Thousands of family members and friends participated on Tuesday evening in the funeral of Lieutenant Colonel Erez Sachyani, who was killed in the crash of the military helicopter off the coast of Haifa.

He was buried in the cemetery in the Misgav Regional Council.

Lieutenant Colonel Erez Sachyani, 38, is survived by his parents, his widow Dana, and three children – Tamar, 11, Omri, 8, and Alon, 5.

Earlier, 27-year-old Major Chen Fogel, who was also killed in the helicopter crash, was laid to rest. He was buried in the military cemetery in Haifa.

Fogel is survived by his parents, Irit and Yaron, and two brothers – Shahar, 21, and Matan, 16. The funeral was attended by thousands of people, including Air Force Commander Amikam Norkin and Navy Commander David Saar Salama. The government was represented by Minister Nachman Shai.

אביו של רס"ן חן פוגל שנהרג בהתרסקות המסוקכאן חדשות

Fogel's father, Yaron, told the media on Tuesday that "he always avoided holding a weapon in his hand, he was in the Navy helicopters so he would not have to do any offensive operations. He was an intelligent, smart and sociable boy."

"He grew up here in Haifa, then we went to Canada for two years, he missed the country so much that he returned to Israel after a year. Even though my wife received an offer to stay in Canada, he told us that he loves Israel so much, that he wants to return, but that if we decide to stay - he will stay with us because he loves us. That's basically what brought us back," said the bereaved father.