The Indian Air Force has now confirmed that CDS, General Bipin Rawat is one of the 13, including his wife, who died on board IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter which was carrying 14 passengers that met with an accident today near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. IAF Group Captain Varun Singh is the 14th passenger in the fateful crash who survived with injury.
General Bipin Rawat was the first Chief of Defence Staff in Indian military history.
Mi-17V5 is a Russian-made military transport choppers formally inducted under then defence minister AK Antony in 2012.
Defence minister of India, Rajnath Singh took to twitter and said, “Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country.”
The official announcement came from IAF twitter handle:
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.”