India’s chief of defence staff among 13 dead in chopper crash

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New Delhi: Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife among 13 officials belonging to his staff died in the helicopter that crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu, Indian Air Force informed through a tweet.

An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.

This was for the second time Rawat has met with a helicopter accident. On February 2, 2015, he had had a lucky escape after a Cheetah helicopter carrying him along with three others crashed seconds after taking off from Rangapahar helipad in Nagaland’s Dimapur district.

Rawat was India’s first CDS, a position that the Indian government established in 2019, and is seen as close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The crash took place at the training camp at the Wellington Army Centre in Coonoor. Search and rescue operations were launched from nearby bases. The visuals from the site also showed fire, smoke and debris.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is monitoring the situation following crash of IAF chopper.

IAF has also ordered an inquiry into the incident.

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