Group Captain Varun Singh, the only survivor of the helicopter crash in which Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others were killed, is “critical, but stable”. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament that he is on life support and “all efforts are being made to save him”.
Group Captain Singh is being treated for severe burn injuries at the military hospital in Wellington.
“He is critical but stable at the moment,” said officials today.
The Air Force officer won the Shaurya Chakra in August for his courage in handling his aircraft after it was hit by major technical issues during a sortie last year. He landed his Tejas fighter safely despite the mid-air emergency.
Group Captain Singh had gone to Sulur to receive General Rawat and escort him to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. General Rawat was to address the faculty and students at the institute, where Group Captain Singh was Directing Staff.
The paternal village of Group Captain Singh is in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Deoria and is father K P Singh retired from the Army as colonel. State Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh is his uncle.
Speaking to the media, Group Captain Singh’s uncle Dinesh Pratap Singh said, “He is currently in hospital, we will get information about his condition when the Air Force issues a bulletin.”
Bodies recovered from the crash site were badly charred, said rescue officials.