Only one passenger, an Air Force captain, survived the accident

The health condition of IAF Group Captain Varun Singh, the lone survivor of the helicopter crash that killed Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and 12 others, being treated at Command Hospital in Bengaluru is "fluctuating", but he will win the battle and come out as he is a "fighter", his father said on Saturday. CDS Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 armed forces personnel were killed in the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. Group Captain Varun Singh, a decorated officer, was on board the Russian-made chopper as the liaison officer for the visit of Gen Rawat, India's senior-most military officer, to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington.

Talking to PTI over phone from Bengaluru, Varun Singh's father Colonel K P Singh (retired), who lives in Bhopal, said, "There is so much of fluctuation that how (my son is) cannot be defined."

He said his son's health is being monitored every hour.

"In the hourly monitoring, there are rises and falls. You cannot say. Everyone is discussing. We are in the best hands. He is in the best hands, rather," the retired Army officer, who hung up his boots some ten years ago, said.

"The best medical facility, the best experts are treating him. Prayer of the whole country is there. I am emotionally moved as a lot of people who don't know him or are retired or serving have come to meet. Even ladies are coming saying they want to see him (Varun). That is the kind of love and affection one has got," he proudly said.

"He will come out victorious. He is a fighter. He will come out...He will come out," Singh said.

The Group Captain was conferred with the Shaurya Chakra in August for averting a possible mid-air accident after his Tejas light combat aircraft was hit by a major technical last year.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Thursday told the Lok Sabha that all efforts were being made to save the Group Captain, who was then on life support at the military hospital in Wellington (Tamil Nadu).

He was admitted to a hospital in Wellington with severe burn injuries following the Wednesday crash. He was initially moved to Sulur in an ambulance by road and then was flown to Bengaluru for better treatment.

The condition of the Group Captain is critical but stable, officials had said on Friday.