A military helicopter carrying Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has crashed in the south of the country. At least two passengers were reported seriously injured in the incident.
Rawat, one of the most senior military officials in the Indian Armed Forces, was traveling on a helicopter that crashed on Wednesday in the Tamil Nadu state, the country’s Air Force confirmed. The incident with the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter happened in the Coonoor municipality and is being investigated, the military branch said.
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.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
According to local media, Rawat was among several senior officers who were on the aircraft. Two people were reportedly taken to hospital from the scene of the crash. Sources say four bodies were recovered from the site.
Images from the scene showed what appeared to be the smoldering debris of an aircraft scattered in a wooded area next to a building.
#Watch: Army helicopter carrying senior defence officials crashes in Nilgiris district in #TamilNadu.The chopper was on its way from the Sulur IAF base to the Defence Services College (DSC) at Wellington when it crashed, sources said. pic.twitter.com/wY2toryjky
— TOIChennai (@TOIChennai) December 8, 2021
Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper.(Pics Source: Locals involved in search and rescue operation) pic.twitter.com/miALr88sm1
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
Rawat was appointed to Chief of the Defence Staff in 2020, after it was created to replace the office of the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, which he held at the time. The four-star general previously served as chief of the army staff.
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