Indian defence chief's chopper crash kills 13 out of 14
08 December 2021, 06:43 pm | Updated: 07 December 2023, 12:39 pm
A military chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and 13 others crashed shortly after take-off on Wednesday in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force said.
A total of 13 people have died and one male survivor is being treated for severe burns. The condition of General Bipin Rawat is not known.
General Rawat’s wife, his Defence Assistant, security commandos and Air Force personnel were among the 14 people on board.
“An IAF Mi-17 V5 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,” tweeted the Air Force.
General Rawat had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur in Coimbatore earlier today. The crash took place shortly after the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 chopper took off from the Air Force base in Sulur for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The helicopter was already making its descent and would have landed in 10 more minutes. It came down around 10 km from the nearest road, forcing emergency workers to trek to the accident site, said news agency AFP.
The crash was first reported around 12.20pm.
Visuals showed wreckage scattered on a hillside and rescuers struggling through thick smoke and fire. Charred bodies were pulled out by locals and cops from under mangled metal and fallen trees.
Category : International