The family of Ritesh Modi, who died in a chopper crash in Aarey on Sunday, would seek legal action against Aman Aviation, the company that owned the helicopter Robinson R44 — a 23-year-old Astro model — if evidence emerges its maintenance had been faulty. “His parents are not in a condition to talk to media. But we want to sue the company,” said Jaimeen Parikh, Modi’s brother-in-law.=
Modi (36), a senior executive in Sony Entertainment, suffered multiple brain contusions in the crash and was on life support system for two days before succumbing to a head injury.
“He remained unconscious and did not respond to external life support,” Dr Raj Karwa, Seven Hills Hospital’s medical superintendent, said.
Modi also suffered over 30 per cent superficial and deep burns. He was belted to his seat and had been hit on the head when the chopper toppled over.
On Tuesday night, Modi passed away in the hospital’s intensive care unit. His final rites were conducted in Daulat Nagar crematorium. “We want to scrutinise the company records. If there are no maintenance records, we want to take action against it,” Parikh said.
Ritesh’s wife Vrinda (33), who suffered 40 per cent burns, has not been informed about his death. On Wednesday, she was shifted to the Airoli Burns Institute in Navi Mumbai for treatment. According to relatives, she was conscious but in a lot of pain. The couple have a two-year-old son, Aariv.
Ritesh and Vrinda were celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary on Sunday when the chopper crashed two minutes before landing at the Juhu Aerodrome. The joy ride was supposed to last 15 minutes and circle over Powai and Vihar lake.
According to investigating officers at the Aarey Colony Police station, Vrinda last remembers hearing the pilot say “emergency landing”. “She has no recollection of how she was saved or what happened after the crash,” a police officer said.
The third injured passenger, technician Sanjeev Sharma, was discharged on Wednesday from Seven Hills Hospital. According to doctors, he needs rest and has minor fractures that will heal in few months.
Aman Aviation CMD Rajendra Johri said, “We will provide all the support we can to the family, in terms of insurance claims and treatment. Till Tuesday night, I was told by his (Ritesh) uncle that he is critical. We have no comments over their decision to sue us.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation team probing the crash left for Delhi Wednesday. The primary report is expected within 30 days, said Johri.