Army chopper crash: Lone survivor, Group Capt Varun Singh, to be shifted to Bengaluru for advanced treatment



COIMBATORE/BHOPAL: The lone survivor in the IAF helicopter crash that killed Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat and 12 others, and admitted to a hospital at Wellington in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, was being shifted to Bengaluru for higher treatment, his family and official sources said on Thursday.

IAF Group Captain Varun Singh was being shifted to Bengaluru from the Army hospital at Wellington in Tamil Nadu, his father said. Official sources in Coimbatore also maintained the officer will be shifted to Bengaluru. His condition is said to be critical but stable and Singh had undergone three operations so far, they added.

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Meanwhile, the Group Captain’s father Colonel K P Singh (retired), who is a resident of Bhopal, said, “he is being shifted to Bengaluru. I have reached Wellington.”

Asked about his son’s condition, he said, “I can’t say anything about that…I am not sure.” Lt Colonel Ishan R (retired), who lives next door to Col K P Singh’s residence at Sun City on the Airport Road in the Madhya Pradesh capital, said he was hopeful the injured officer will recover.

He said Col K P Singh and his wife Uma were in Mumbai at the place of their younger son Tanuj, who is a Lt Commander in the Navy, when they received information about the unfortunate incident on Wednesday.

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“I spoke to Colonel K P Singh this morning. He said his son was a fighter and will come out victorious (from the tragedy),” he said.

He recalled that Group Captain Varun Singh had earlier survived a life-threatening emergency while flying a Tejas aircraft during a test sortie last year. For his bravery, he was awarded the Shaurya Chakra this year.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday told Parliament that a tri-services inquiry led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh has started investigation into the helicopter crash that killed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Rawat, his wife and 11 others.

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Singh said in a statement in the Lok Sabha that all efforts were being made to save Group Captain Varun Singh, who was on life support at the military hospital in Wellington.

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