Indian CDS Gen Bipin Rawat’s chopper crashes, 14 on board

New Delhi, December 08 (KMS): An Indian Army chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat and 13 others crashed in Tamil Nadu.

Indian media reported that five people are dead and two are in hospital with severe burn injuries.

General Rawat’s wife, Defence Assistant, security commandos and Indian Air Force personnel were also among 14 people 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.

The crash took place in the Nilgiris, shortly after the Mi-series chopper took off from the army base in Sulur. The chopper was heading to the defence establishment in Wellington in the Nilgiris.

Visuals showed the wreckage scattered on the hillside and rescuers at work, struggling through thick smoke and fire.

General Rawat, 63, took charge as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff in January 2019. He was also appointed the head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.

Further details are awaited.

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