Bengaluru, New Delhi: Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor of the IAF chopper crash, which led to the death of 13 people on December 8 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, succumbed to his injuries 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 Indian Air Force tweeted.
Group Captain Singh, a Shaurya Chakra awardee, had sustained severe injuries and was on life support. He was undergoing treatment at Air Force Command Hospital on Old Airport Road. His death was condoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the top leadership of the country.
Group Captain Singh belonged to Bhopal, and graduated from the National Defence Academy(NDA) in 2003. He was commissioned as a fighter pilot in 2004 and flew Jaguars and Tejas during his flying career.
He was an experimental test pilot and was conferred with the Shaurya Chakra on on August 15, this year. He was posted to Defence Services Staff College as an instructor when he passed away. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Condoling his death, Prime Minister Modi said he was anguished.
“Group Captain Varun Singh served the nation with pride, valour and utmost professionalism. I am extremely anguished by his passing away. His rich service to the nation will never be forgotten. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” PM Modi said.
Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Deeply pained to learn about the passing away of Group Captain Varun Singh, who was battling with the injuries after the helicopter accident in Coonoor. May God bless the Brave’s soul and give strength to his family. My deepest condolences. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was addressing a rally in Uttarakhand as the news broke, requested the people in the rally to pray for the departed soul. Singh was in Dehradun to attend the closing ceremony of a month-long ‘Shaheed Samman Yatra’ and lay the foundation stone for ‘Sainya Dham’.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “My heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Group Captain Varun Singh. This is a sad moment for the country. We all are with you in this grief.”
The mortal remains of Shaurya Chakra-recipient Group Captain Varun Singh will reach Bhopal on Thursday.
“A military aircraft shall bring the body,” Collector Avinash Lavania confirmed.
The officer was the son of city-resident Colonel KP Singh (Retd) who served with Army Air Defence. Gp Capt Singh’s sibling Lieutenant Commander Tanuj Singh is in the Indian Navy.
The cremation is to take place on Thursday, said sources.
Waves of grief and despair struck the people in his native Deoria district after reports of his demise spread. Since the incident took place, the residents of Kanhauli, Singh’s native village, had been praying for his well being. As the news of group captain’s death came, people in large numbers gathered at his native place in Rudrapur tehsil to pay tributes to the great son of the land. Varun Singh is survived by father, mother, brother, wife and two children
A tri-services inquiry team, led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh, has started probe into the mishap which lead to the death of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others in chopper crash.