Wing Cdr Darryl’s funeral today afternoon

The body of Wing Commander Darryl Castelino (38), who died during the rescue efforts in Uttarakhand, was brought to Mumbai early Saturday morning in a coffin wrapped with the national flag. The funeral service will be held at St Anthony's Church in Vakola at 3 pm today, after which the burial will take place at St Mary's Church in Kalina.

Castelino's body landed at the airport at around 7.45 am Saturday and was taken to Nanavati Hospital. The family plans to bring the body home by 1 pm Sunday.

Late Saturday afternoon, a team of officers from the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Barrackpore visited the Castelino residence in Vakola with some paperwork and a bag of personal effects that Castelino had taken with him.

"The sight of the bag brought the entire family to tears. We haven't been able to bring ourselves to open it yet. The IAF officers were very helpful. They told us they would take care of everything," said Libert Olivera, Castelino's brother-in-law.

"Darryl once took my parents to his base, where he showed them the Mi-17 helicopter and explained its workings. As soon as my mother saw the news of an Mi-17 crashing in Uttarakhand, she started getting a feeling that something was wrong," added Libert.

After the IAF officers left, assistant commissioner of police Zunjarrao Gharal visited the house. Some VIPs are expected to attend the funeral and police have started making preparations accordingly.

"We recieved calls from the offices of some political leaders asking for the details of the funeral. We are making preparations with the assumption that the Chief Minister and home minister might attend. A lot of personnel will be used for bandobast duty, but we have not called for reinforcements from other agencies," Gharal said.

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