Who is Group Captain Varun Singh? Know about lone survivor of IAF chopper crash


Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday confirmed that Group Captain Varun Singh is the lone survivor of the Mi-17V5 chopper that crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, killing India’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.

Of a total 14 people, Singh is the only person to have survived the IAF chopper crash, and is currently undergoing treatment at the Military Hospital in Tamil Nadu’s Wellington, according to an official statement by the IAF. 

Group Captain Singh was honoured with the Shaurya Chakra on this year’s Independence Day by President Ram Nath Kovind for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an emergency in October 2020. He is the directing staff of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington in Tamil Nadu.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who were among the 14 passengers on board the chopper have been confirmed dead.

Also Read | CDS Rawat’s death: President, PM lead tributes to one of nation’s bravest sons

Taking to Twitter, the IAF said that CDS Rawat was heading to the DSSC in the Nilgiris district to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course. The chopper comprised as many as four crew members, and nine passengers, including the CDS and his wife.

Condolences poured in after the demise of CDS Rawat, his wife and 11 others on board the chopper. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he is “deeply anguished” by the news. Hailing CDS Rawat as an “outstanding soldier” and a “true patriot”, the PM added that the former he “served with utmost diligence.”

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