“Take care of my daughter. She is unwell,” were the last words of helicopter pilot Anil Singh when he spoke to his wife a day before he was killed along with six pilgrims when his chopper crashed into a hill in Uttarakhand on Tuesday due to poor visibility.
Mr Singh (57) was living in a posh housing society in the Andheri suburb of the metropolis and is survived by his wife Shireen Anandita and daughter Firoza Singh.
The ill-fated six-seater chopper — Bell 407 (VT-RPN) — operated by the city-based Aryan Aviation — was ferrying pilgrims from Kedarnath temple to Guptkashi when it crashed into a hill due to poor visibility, bursting into flames at around 11.45 am at Dev Darshini in Garud Chatti, Rudraprayag District Disaster Management Officer Nandan Singh said.
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, Mr 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.
Teams of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) and aviation regulator DGCA will be probing the helicopter crash, according to a senior official.
Aryan Aviation had come under the regulatory scanner and was fined Rs 5 lakh recently by the directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for certain violations. This was the only 6-seater helicopter in the company’s fleet of five choppers, according to the DGCA website.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)