Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Gen Bipin Rawat Chopper Crash: CDS On Board, 13 Dead, Sources Say; Identities to be Confirmed Through DNA Tests

An Army chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his staff and at least one family member, has crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor, with no information yet about the condition of the CDS. Thirteen of the fourteen personnel have been confirmed dead after the crash took place in the Nilgiris, shortly after the Mi-series chopper took off from the army base in Sulur. Confirming the incident, the Indian Air Force tweeted: “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.” Sources said the Union Cabinet is currently on and Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the incident.

P M Narendra Modi will chair Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meet at 6.30pm in the wake of the Coonoor helicopter tragedy. Meanwhile, Army Chief General MM Naravane briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over the incident of the crash of the military chopper. The defence Minister visited CDS Bipin Rawat’s residence to brief the family of the current situation.

Visuals from the site of the Indian Air Force helicopter crash showed massive flames and locals helping with the immediate rescue operations. Several teams are at the site carrying out search and rescue operations. Local military officers have reached the location, ANI reported. Official sources said all the injured people on board the Mi-17V5 helicopter have been evacuated from the spot of the accident. The Chief of Defence Staff was on his way to the Defence Staff College in Wellington.


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