Aarey chopper crash: Survivor slips into coma, wife may need plastic surgery

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 10:22 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty |

While there has been no improvement in the condition of Ritesh Modi (36), who is in a coma and kept on life support, his wife Brinda (34), who sustained 50 per cent burns, is in the isolation ward

The spot in Aarey Colony where the helicopter crashed. Pic/Satej Shinde

A day after the chopper crash in Aarey colony that killed the pilot and injured three, the latter are recovering at SevenHills hospital. While there has been no improvement in the condition of Ritesh Modi (36), who is in a coma and kept on life support, his wife Brinda (34), who sustained 50 per cent burns, is in the isolation ward. Technician Sanjiv Shankar, on the other hand, is out of danger and may be discharged within three to four days.'

Under observation
Doctors said that while Ritesh too sustained 50 per cent burns, Brinda's are more serious, and plastic surgeons are expected to decide soon if she needs surgery. Shankar has injured his ankle and might undergo a surgery for it.

All of them will be kept under observation for the next 24 hours to rule out any internal bleeding or concussions. "We have sedated Brinda, and by tomorrow evening, we will know more about how Ritesh is doing," said hospital superintendent Dr Raj Karva.

The police came to record Brinda's statement yesterday, but due to her burns, she couldn't give her thumb impression. So now, her statement will be recorded on camera.
Post-mortem reveals...

Deceased pilot Praful Mishra's autopsy was conducted at Siddharth post-mortem centre in Goregaon, after the body was brought there at 6.25 pm on Sunday. A source said, "The body was brought intact, with head and other multiple injuries. The skull was fractured and the body had many abrasions and contusion wounds, indicating that the deceased's head banged on a hard, blunt object or on the ground, resulting in instant death."

"We have not taken any video or photograph of the post-mortem procedure, but we have preserved the viscera and blood for testing any presence of alcohol. Samples will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Kalina," he added.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone XII) Kirankumar Chavan told mid-day, "As the investigation is being carried out by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, we are awaiting their reports on the accident. Only they can we know the circumstances and technical reasons that led to the crash. Also, safety concerns will be addressed by them, and any lapses, if found, we will do the needful."

When asked if the debris was removed from the spot, Chavan replied in the negative and added, "We won't be moving the wreckage until the investigation is complete. Adequate police bandobast has been deployed at the spot to keep public away."

"We have only registered an accidental death case under section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as the pilot died in the crash," he said. "It's a painful time for us… Ritesh and Brinda were celebrating their anniversary. We have sent their two-and-a-half-year-old son to stay with his grandmother. We are just praying to god to improve their conditions, so that we can take them home soon," a family member said.

- Inputs by Vinod Kumar Menon

Sheer bad luck

The police said technician Sanjiv Shankar would not have been a part of this trip had there been three passengers to begin with. He was asked to accompany to maintain the balance. In his police statement, Shankar said that generally technicians don’t accompany pilots on flights, but in this case, he was asked to, said investigating officer Shriranv Chintaman. “Before the crash, they had gone on another round with a different couple. Shankar had also accompanied them, but nothing happened during the first ride. He was asked to come for the second ride too to keep the balance. Had there been three passengers, he could have been saved,” added Chintaman.

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