CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others died in an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crash on Wednesday, December 8, the Indian Air Force said on Twitter.
CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife, a security guard, a security officer and an Indian Air Force pilot were boarding a Mi-series helicopter when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu, ANI reported. According to sources, CDS Bipin Rawat was on his way from the Indian Air Force base in Sulur near Coimbatore to Defense Staff College in Wellington. Along with eight others, he boarded a flight from Delhi to Sulur on Wednesday morning.
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The IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with General Staff of Defense (CDS) Bipin Rawat, his wife and staff, and other senior passengers on board, crashed into Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
Photographs taken at the Indian Air Force helicopter crash show great flames and local people assisting in emergency rescue operations. ANI reported that the bodies appeared to be small. Several teams, including local military officers, have arrived in the area in search of rescue.
PTI news agency quoted Nilgiris Collector as saying that 13 of the 14 IAF helicopters had died. One survivor is a man.
The chopper crashed after leaving Sulur on the Nilgiris, en route to Wellington base.