The air force reported an aircraft carrying India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat collapsed on Wednesday in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
According to India Today, at least four persons were killed in the incident, while three more were rescued with severe burn injuries. The identities of those who died have yet to be determined.
The sources said that there were 14 people on board, including Gen Rawat, his wife, security commandos, an IAF pilot, and defence assistant.
Indian news agency ANI shared visuals from the crash site on Twitter, indicating the destruction of the copter consumed by fire. According to the wire service, Rawat’s family was also on board the ill-fated helicopter.
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
The Indian Air Force said on Twitter, “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.”
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