INDIA: Four persons were killed and three others were injured on Wednesday morning when an Indian Air Force helicopter (IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter) carrying 14 persons, including Chief of Defence (CDS) Staff General Bipin Rawat crashed at Coonoor in Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu.
The official information about the condition of Rawat was not immediately available. However former Union Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre told Transcontinental Times that he has been admitted to the Military hospital in Wellington, along with others who suffered severe burn injuries.
“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,” the IAF said in a statement.
A total of 14 people including, CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife, defence assistant, security commandos, were present in the chopper that crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu. The chopper was on its way from the Sulur IAF base to the Defence Services College (DSC) at Wellington when it crashed. The mishap happened at the Nanjappanchathiram area amid the heavy mist, official sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have been briefed on the incident. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will brief Parliament on the crash shortly, IAF stated on Twitter.