Helicopter Carrying Indian Defense Chief Crashes
The Indian Air Force confirmed a military helicopter carrying its most senior general crashed in southern Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, killing at least four people.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Two defence sources said they were trying to ascertain Rawat’s status following the crash near the town of Coonoor.
The air force tweeted that an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on board, “met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu,” adding an official investigation into the crash has already been launched.
By mid-afternoon Wednesday, rescue operations were still underway but two people with severe burns had been taken to hospital, India’s media reported. Fourteen people are believed to have been onboard at the time of the crash.
Rawat was travelling from an Indian base in Sulur to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to deliver a lecture. Hill station Coonoor is along the flight path. was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by Prime Minister ’s government in late 2019, Reuters reported.