India's top general Bipin Rawat and his wife along with 11 others confirmed dead in helicopter crash

05:20 PM | 8 Dec, 2021
India's top general Bipin Rawat and his wife along with 11 others confirmed dead in helicopter crash
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NEW DELHI – India’s chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were killed in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

It was confirmed by the Indian air force on Twitter.

“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”.

Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington, it added.  

Gen Bipini was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.

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.

Videos shared by Indian news agencies showed the blazing chopper as local residents tried to douse it in a densely forested area. In the latest video shared by an Indian news agency, a few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident while efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities.

Bipin Rawat is the first Chief of Defence Staff of India – a position that the Modi-led government established in 2019 – which he assumed last year after retiring as a top military commander.

Rawat, 63, who is said to be a close aide of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has forty years of service as he commanded forces in occupied Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.

More to follow…