An Indian Air Force helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on Wednesday. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, was on board the chopper. Two people have reportedly died in the incident.
An Indian Air Force helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on board crashed in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on Wednesday. Two people have been confirmed dead in the incident.
Three people have been rescued so far while a search is on for the others. There were fourteen people on board, according to sources.
The three who have been rescued suffered serious injuries and have been taken to the hospital at Wellington cantonment in Nilgiris district.
CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife, defence assistant, security commandos and an IAF pilot were on board the Mi-series chopper when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu, ANI news agency reported. CDS Bipin Rawat was en route to Wellington in Coonoor from the Indian Air Force base in Sulur near Coimbatore, as per sources.
Visuals from the site of the Indian Air Force helicopter crash showed massive flames and locals helping with the immediate rescue operations. Several teams are at the site carrying out search and rescue operations. Local military officers have reached the location and were told that locals have taken two bodies with 80 per cent burns to a local hospital while more bodies were seen downhill, ANI news agency reported.
INQUIRY ORDEREDThe Indian Air Force confirmed the incident on Twitter and said 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," the IAF tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh have been briefed on the incident.
(More details awaited. This is a developing story.)
CDS Bipin Rawat
Update: 4 bodies recovered