CDS Bipin Rawat Helicopter Crash: In a tragic incident for India’s national security apparatus, the country’s top military officer, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash in Coonoor distrct in Tamil Nadu in southern India.
General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 other military officers were on their way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington near Nilgiri Hills in the state when their chopper lost control and crashed on the ground.
“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,” Indian Air Force said in a statement.
General Rawat was travelling in a Russian made Mi-17 V5 helicopter of Indian Air Force, having 14 personnel.
The IAF said: “Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.”
“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,” said the IAF.
Earlier in the day, the IAF had confirmed the news of General Rawat being onboard when the news first emerged.
“An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu,” Indian Air Force had said in the statement.
The Air Force said an Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to brief the Parliament on the helicopter crash tomorrow.