Akhilesh Kumar Sharma
Akhilesh Kumar Sharma Image Credit: Twitter

The family was preparing to welcome a new baby soon, when they got a call about the soon-to-be father’s death.

Akhilesh Kumar Sharma, co-pilot of the Air India Express flight, which crashed on the evening of August 7 while landing at Kerala's Kozhikode Airport, has left his pregnant wife behind. She is reportedly yet to receive news of her husband’s death.

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Akhilesh, belonging to the city of Mathura in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, was among the 18 who died during the incident.

He had started flying for Air India Express in 2017 and was co-piloting the Vande Bharat repatriation flights between Dubai and Kerala on Friday.

Akhilesh got married two years ago. According to Indian media outlets, his wife is pregnant and has not yet been told about her husband’s death.

According to his father, Tulsiram Sharma, the family received a call from Air India at about 10:30 pm informing them of the crash and that Akhilesh was seriously injured.

The next day, they were informed that Akhilesh had succumbed to his injuries. Indian news outlets reported.

The late pilot’s wife is expecting a child within the next two weeks.

As the news of the crash broke, it became an instant trend on social media. Netizens were quick to share their condolences to the families of those affected and many felt for Akhilesh’s wife.

Tweep @ProfSushmaGupta wrote: “I pray God to give strength to [the] family to bear this unrepairable loss. I have no words to console the family whose son[‘s] wife is to deliver shortly as my eyes are in tears. I pray for safe delivery of the wife of the copilot Sri Akhilesh Sharma from Mathura.”

Many also asked the Indian government to provide financial assistance to Akhilesh’s wife.

Twitter user @priyagupta999 posted a picture of the late pilot with the caption: “This is #AkhileshKumar co-pilot of the #AirIndiaExpressCrash in #Kozikhode. His wife is due for delivery 15 days from now. Can’t bear to think about her sorrow. I hope the government can look after her and her to be born newly child by giving her money and a job.”