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CDS Bipin Rawat chopper crashes; 13 out of 14 passengers dead

On Wednesday, an Indian Air Force chopper carrying Chief of Defense Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 12 others crashed in Tamil Nadu. From Sulur, the IAF Mi-17V5 chopper took off towards Wellington.

The IAF on its Twitter handle 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 developments have been relayed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Singh is expected to brief Parliament on the event tomorrow, according to sources.

According to sources, at least three persons were injured in the incident and were brought to a nearby hospital, although their identities have not yet been confirmed. The Mi-series chopper crashed in the Nilgiris immediately after taking off from the army camp in Sulur.

Thirteen individuals have died, and one person is supposedly recovering from severe burns. There is no official news about the condition of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat.

The chopper was already on its way down and would have landed in about 10 minutes. According to news agency AFP, it fell down around 10 kilometres from the nearest road, forcing emergency res ponders to hike to the accident site.

Videos showed wreckage strewn across a mountainside and rescuers searching for people through intense smoke and fire. Locals and cops rescued charred victims from behind mangled metal and fallen trees. In January 2019, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, 63, became India’s first Chief of Defense Staff. The job was created with the goal of bringing the three services together: the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

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