Mumbai jet mishap: 21-yr-old co-pilot Neil Diwan critical, paralysed below waist

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A day after a private jet veered off the runway while landing at the Mumbai airport on Thursday, all the eight people onboard the jet were reported to be stable, except 21-year-old co-pilot Neil Diwan. Diwan suffered serious injuries and was shifted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai for an urgent surgery earlier this morning. His injuries include a spinal injury and a fractured sternum. He is paralysed below the waist and is being operated on by Dr Abhijeet Pawar, a spine specialist.

There were six passengers and two crew members on board, the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft.

Following the incident, all eight passengers were admitted to Criticare Asia Multispeciality Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai where they remain under observation.

Captain Sunil Kanjarbhat, the 46-year-old pilot, sustained multiple abrasions with trauma to the chest wall, spine, and a scalp hematoma, as per the officials. His chest scan showed bleeding in the chest area, and his heart has a small fluid buildup detected by an ultrasound. Additionally, he has a wedge compression fracture of the L1 vertebra and a CT brain scan has detected axonal injury.

While Captain Kanjarbhat’s vital signs remain stable, he has been advised to undergo an MRI of the lumbar spine and a 3D CT scan of the face.

Passengers onboard, of different age groups, suffered injuries. The names of the passengers are – Dhruv Kotak, Arul Sali, Krishnadas Kodalil, Aakursh Sethi, and a 41-year–old woman Kamakshi Shringarpure. The sixth passenger is a Danish national – 58-year-old Lars Henrik Ostergaard Sorensen.

In a statement, Mumbai airport said the incident occurred at approximately around 5 pm amid heavy rains. The Learjet 45 aircraft VT-DBL belonging to VSR Ventures, was coming from Visakhapatnam and skidded off the runway while landing at the Mumbai airport.

The official also said the aircraft had suffered extensive damage after veering off the runway and will have to be removed with the help of a disabled aircraft recovery kit.