Reports said that 14 persons including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat were onboard an Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter that crashed near Coonoor area of Tamil Nadu today morning.
They said that out of the total 14 personnel onboard, 13 have been confirmed dead including General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika.
Meanwhile, Indian Air Forces said that the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter was airborne from Sulur for Wellington and there were 14 persons on board, including the crew.
Reports also said that Bipin Rawat’s defence assistant, security commandos and Air Forces personnel were also on board the fateful helicopter.
The Air Force on its official Twitter handle said that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
“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,” IAF Tweeted.
In another Tweet IAF said, “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.”
It further said that 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.
“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,” IAF said in another Tweet.
IAF also said that Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington. kns