Four dead in Indian defence helicopter crash

The fate of Chief of Defence Staff Bin Rawat, his wife and others not known

The IAF helicopter in flames

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Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, December 8, 2021

An Indian Defence helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor in Nilgiris District today (Wednesday, December 8, 2021) at about 11.30 am IST (about 7 pm, NZT).

There were nine passengers and five crew aboard the chopper, including Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and other officials.

There is no immediate news about General Rawat and his wife.

As per available information, The chopper had taken off from Sulur Air Base in Coimbatore and was on its way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the Nilgiris and the crash took place enroute. Neither the cause of the crash or the identity of those who have been killed has been revealed. The mishap happened amid heavy mist and visuals showed the helicopter in flames.

The 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. The crash took place on the ghat road from Mettupalayam to Coonoor, reports say.”

The crash happened in Katteri area in Nilgiris.

Army and Police officials have rushed to the spot to carry out rescue operations. Three people who sustained serious injuries were rescued from the chopper and rushed to hospital for treatment. ANI reported that local military officers have reached the location and were told that local residents have taken two bodies with 80% burns to a local hospital.

Source: News Minute, ANI

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