Monday, January 17, 2022

Indian defence chief Gen Bipin Rawat among 13 dead in helicopter crash

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A military helicopter carrying Indian defence chief General Bipin Rawat crashed in southern India on Wednesday, killing at least 13 people.

“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” the Indian Air Force announced on Twitter.

“Around noon, an IAF Mi-17 V5 helicopter with a crew of four members carrying the CDS and nine other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu,” the statement said.

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today, according to IAF.

The IAF further said that it had been ascertained that Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board had died in the accident.

Around 14 people were on board the chopper that was flying from Delhi to Sulur, according to Indian media reports.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) confirmed the crash and the presence of CDS Rawat on board.

“An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the IAF said.

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