'Take Care': What Pilot Anil Singh Told Wife In His Last Call Before Kedarnath Chopper Crash
In a tragic incident, a helicopter, which was ferrying pilgrims from the Kedarnath temple to Guptkashi, crashed close to Garud Chatti and Jungle Chatti on Tuesday, killing all seven people on board.
The pilot of the ill-fated helicopter, Anil Singh, also died in the crash. "Take care of my daughter. She is unwell," were Anil Singh's last words when he spoke to his wife on Monday. The 57-year-old lived in a posh housing society in the Andheri suburb of Mumbai and is survived by his wife Shireen Anandita and daughter Firoza Singh.
At around 11:45 am at Dev Darshini in Garud Chatti, the six-seater helicopter operated by Aryan Aviation Pvt Ltd -- Bell 407 (VT-RPN) -- was ferrying pilgrims from Kedarnath temple to Guptkashi when it crashed into a hill due to poor visibility, said Nandan Singh, the Rudraprayag District Disaster Management Officer.
Anandita said she and her daughter will be leaving for New Delhi to perform the last rites of her husband. "His last call to us was yesterday (Monday). My daughter is not keeping well. He told me to take care of her," Anandita, who is a film writer, told PTI over the phone.
Originally a resident of East Delhi's Shahadra locality, Singh was living in Mumbai for the last 15 years.
Earlier in the day, an official from the Uttarakhand police confirmed that the pilot killed in the crash, Singh, hailed from Mumbai. Anandita, however, said she had no "complaint against anyone as an accident is an accident". Moreover, the hill state always experiences inclement weather, she said.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) and the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will investigate the helicopter crash, according to a senior official. As a result of certain violations, Aryan Aviation was recently fined Rs 5 lakh by the DGCA. This was the only 6-seater helicopter in the company's fleet of five choppers, according to the DGCA website.