Defense Chief General Bipin Rawat killed in helicopter crash
Army helicopter crash: General Rawat‘s wife, his defense assistants, security commandos and Air Force personnel were also on board.
Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat died today after an IAF helicopter and 13 others crashed soon after take-off in Tamil Nadu. General Rawat’s wife Madhulika Rawat was killed.
The accident happened shortly after the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 helicopter took off from the Air Force Base in Sulur, Coimbatore for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The helicopter was already taking off and could land in 10 minutes. It came about 10km down the nearest road, AFP news agency said, forcing emergency workers to rush to the crash site.
The accident was reported around 12.20 pm.
#watch | Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS General Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were on board the helicopter.
#WATCH | Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper.
(Video Source: Locals involved in search and rescue operation) pic.twitter.com/YkBVlzsk1J
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
Videos showed debris scattered on a hill and rescue teams battling thick smoke and fire to locate bodies. Burnt bodies were pulled out from under metal and fallen trees by local people and police.
63-year-old General Rawat took charge as India’s first Chief of Defense Staff in January 2019. The post was established with the aim of integrating the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force.
A former army chief, General Rawat was also appointed the head of the newly created Military Affairs Department.
Many former army chiefs expressed grief; He described the Mi-17 double engine helicopter as a very stable aircraft used for VVIP flights.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News East India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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