Published On : Wed, Dec 8th, 2021

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat’s Chopper Crashes, 14 On Board

An army chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and 13 others crashed today in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force said.

Five bodies have been found from the crash site and two have been taken to hospital with severe burn injuries. More details are not known so far.

General Rawat’s wife, his Defence Assistant, security commandos and Indian Air Force personnel were reportedly among the 14 on board.

The Indian Air Force confirmed in a tweet that the Chief of Defence Staff was on the flight. He had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur earlier today and that flight manifest had nine people.

“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.”

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 chopper was heading to the Defence Staff Services College in Wellington in the Nilgiris.

Visuals showed the wreckage scattered on the hillside and rescuers at work, struggling through thick smoke and fire and uprooted trees. Bodies were taken away by locals and policemen.

General Rawat, 63, took charge as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff in January 2019. The position was set up with the aim of integrating India’s three services – the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

He was later also appointed the head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have been briefed about the crash.