Multiple Fatalities As Helicopter Carrying India’s Most Senior General Crashes
A helicopter carrying India’s most senior officials has crashed resulting in multiple fatalities.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat, 63, was on board the military helicopter when it crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor in Southern India, today, December 8.
According to reports, there were around 14 people on the plane, and three people have so far been rescued and rushed to hospital. BBC News reports that a minister in the state government said five people had died in the crash.
It has been confirmed by the Indian Air Force that General Rawat and his wife were among those on board the helicopter and had been travelling from Delhi to Sulur.
The Air Force stated via Twitter:
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.
Alongside Rawat and his wife, Rawat’s defence assistant, Brigadier LS Lidder, and his staff officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh are also reported as having been on board, as per The Independent.
While also an adviser to the Defence Ministry, General Rawat is the most senior official in the Indian military, having been appointed in 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
It is not yet known if General Rawat is one of the deceased, after a source from India’s defence team told Reuters that they ‘don’t know yet’.
An emergency cabinet meeting has since been called by Modi, and parliament will likely be addressed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
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CreditsThe Independent and 2 others
The Times of India
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