Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 armed forces personnel were killed in the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash near Coonoor.

Group Captain Varun Singh in uniform
news Chopper crash Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 12:52

Group Captain Varun Singh, who was the only survivor of the Indian Air Force helicopter crash that killed 13 people including Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, December 15. The IAF issued an official statement that he passed away on Wednesday morning.

“IAF is deeply saddened to inform the passing away of braveheart Group Captain Varun Singh, who succumbed this morning to the injuries sustained in the helicopter accident on 08 Dec 21. IAF offers sincere condolences and stands firmly with the bereaved family,” the IAF said in a statement. Group Captain Varun Singh had been on life support and officials had said that his condition  was "critical but stable.” Group Captain Singh was undergoing treatment at a military hospital in Bengaluru.

Last Thursday, Group Captain Singh was shifted to the Command Hospital in Bengaluru from Wellington in Tamil Nadu. The Group Captain was admitted to a hospital in Wellington with severe burn injuries on Wednesday following the crash.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the officer's death. "I am extremely anguished by his passing away. His rich service to the nation will never be forgotten," the Prime Minister tweeted. 

Group Captain Singh, a decorated officer, was on board the Russian-made chopper as the liaison officer for the visit of Gen Rawat, India's senior-most military officer, to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. He was conferred the Shaurya Chakra in August for averting a possible mid-air accident after his Tejas light combat aircraft developed a major technical snag last year.

CDS Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 armed forces personnel were killed in the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The Russian-made chopper was transporting General Rawat, India's senior-most military officer, to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington.

Besides Gen Rawat, his wife and Brig Lidder, the 10 other personnel killed in the accident included Lt Col Harjinder Singh, Wing Commander PS Chauhan, Squadron Leader K Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Havildar Satpal, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik Sai Teja.

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