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CDS General Bipin Rawat, wife Madhulika and 11 other people die in helicopter crash
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, IAF said.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter died in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said.
7.40 PM - Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
7.30 PM - 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, TN.
7.20 PM - 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.
7.15 PM - Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington.
4.45 PM - PTI report - Union I&B Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday said information about the helicopter accident in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu will be shared by the ministry concerned at an appropriate time. "The entire information about the accident that has taken place will be shared by the concerned ministry at an appropriate time," Thakur told reporters when asked about the helicopter crash involving Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat.
An Indian Air Force helicopter with Rawat on board crashed on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said.
There was no immediate information on the condition of Rawat.
4.27 PM - Ministry concerned will share information on chopper crash in Tamil Nadu: Union Minister Anurag Thakur at Cabinet briefing
3.55 PM - IAF chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat onboard crashes in forest area in TN; four killed, three injured, report PTI
An Indian Air Force helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on board crashed on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said, as four people were killed in the mishap that happened reportedly due to low visibility owing to foggy conditions.
However, there was no immediate information on the condition of Gen Rawat, even as the IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident, involving a Mi-17VH chopper that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in nearby Coimbatore.
TV visuals showed the badly damaged chopper in flames, possibly under the impact of the crash. Apparently, a major tragedy was averted as the helicopter fell at some distance away from a human habitation, averting possible mass casualties.
The accident site was a scene of despair with trees being reduced to broken pieces under the impact of the crash, flames from the chopper engulfing the wooden logs resulting in billowing smoke and personnel scurrying to douse the fire, including using buckets and water hose. What seemed to be some charred bodies were also seen lying around.
The mangled and burnt remains of the ill-fated IAF chopper were strewn along the site, even as rescue services personnel were seen carrying bodies in stretchers to be transported through waiting ambulances.
The accident site remained out of bounds for civilians.
Official sources in New Delhi said all the injured people on board the helicopter had been evacuated from the spot of the accident.
Rawat was on his way to the Defence Staff College in Wellington.
Official sources in Coimbatore said four bodies had been retrieved and three people rescued from under the debris of the helicopter which crashed in Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area near here in the hilly Nilgiris district. There was no concrete information on the number of persons travelling in the helicopter though official sources had earlier said 3-4 senior officials were among its occupants.
The helicopter, carrying a few senior officials, was on its way from Sulur in Coimbatore to DSC in Wellington where Rawat, along with Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane, was slated to participate in an event later, the sources added.
The chopper crashed in the forest area, reportedly due to poor visibility following heavy fog, they added.
Rescue personnel, along with Army men, were seen involved in clearing the area.
Medical teams from nearby Coimbatore, including burns specialists, have also been sent to Coonoor to treat the injured.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin will visit Coonoor and will leave for Coimbatore by air later in the day.
2.17 PM - An Indian Air Force helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on board met with an accident on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said, as per news agency PTI
2.15 PM- Official sources said all the injured people on board the Mi-17V5 helicopter have been evacuated from the spot of the accident, says news agency PTI
2.14 PM - The Chief of Defence Staff was on his way to the Defence Staff College in Wellington, news agency PTI said.
2.13 PM - There is no immediate information on the condition of General Rawat, as per news agency PTI
2.12 PM - The IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident, as per news agency PTI
2.06 PM: - Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper. - SOURCE ANI
(Video Source: Locals involved in search and rescue operation)
#WATCH | Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper.
(Video Source: Locals involved in search and rescue operation) pic.twitter.com/YkBVlzsk1J
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
2 PM - "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," Indian Air Force tweeted.
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.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
(Breaking news story; more details awaited)
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