A chopper carrying the Chief Of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat was on its way from the Sulur IAF base near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to the Defence Services College (DSC) at Wellington, Ooty, when it crashed in the Nilgiri Hills.
Emergency and rescue operation teams are present at the spot. Five dead bodies have been recovered, as per the Nilgiris Collector. As per the health officials present at the spot, three people were rescued from the crashed chopper and taken to a hospital, with severe injuries.
The chopper crashed in a gorge near a small habitat in a tea estate near Kattery, around 7km from Coonoor. According to eyewitnesses, more bodies have been found trapped under the debris of the chopper.
According to an ANI report, fourteen people were on board the Air Force’s Mi-17V5 helicopter. They included CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kr, L/Naik Vivek Kumar, L/Naik B Sai Teja & Hav Satpal.
Identification of the deceased is under way. There is no confirmation on Gen. Rawat’s condition at this time.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and will brief Parliament shortly.
CDS Gen Bipin Rawat killed in chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor, confirms IAF. The fatal crash left 13 people dead. The sole survivor is Group Captain Varun Singh, directing staff at Defence Services Staff College (DSSC). He is being treated for his injuries at the Military Hospital in Wellington, the IAF said.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Security is likely at the Prime Minister’s house in some time.
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