Indian Air Force’s Group Capt. Varun Singh, the only survivor in last week’s helicopter crash that left 13 people dead, succumbed to his injures, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Wednesday.
India’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife were among 13 killed in the crash in southern Tamil Nadu on Dec. 8.
Rawat was en route to the defence services staff college in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers when the incident happened near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. A tri-service inquiry into the incident is underway.
Of the 14 onboard, Singh was the lone survivor and admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru.
The “IAF is deeply saddened to inform the passing away of brave heart Group Captain Varun Singh, who succumbed this morning to the injuries sustained in the helicopter accident,” a statement read.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 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 (rest in peace),” he wrote on Twitter.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also tweeted: “Pained beyond words to learn of the demise of IAF pilot, Group Captain Varun Singh. He was a true fighter who fought till his last breath. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family and friends. We stand firmly with the family, in this hour of grief.”