India’s top military commander has been killed in a helicopter crash in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the country’s Air Force says. The country’s Air Force says that Bipin Rawat has been killed in a helicopter crash. India’s top military commander Gen Bipin Rawat. his wife and 11 others died after the Mi-17V5 helicopter came down in hills near Coonoor city (southern state of Tamil Nadu).
As per recent reports, one survivor is being treated for his injuries in the hospital.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, 63, was designated as India’s first-ever CDS in January 2019.
The Indian Air Force said it had ordered an investigation into the accident, which happened in foggy weather.
On Twitter, Mr Modi said: “[Gen Rawat] brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service.”
“A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptions. His passing away has saddened me deeply.”
Images from the helicopter crash site revealed thick plumes of smoke billowing from the remains of the helicopter, and locals trying to douse the fire.
Recent Updates (Bipin Rawat):
The Mi-17V5 military chopper had just taken off from a military base in Sulur and was on its way to the city of Wellington, less than 100 km (62 mi) away, where CDS Gen Bipin Rawat was due to visit the DSSC*.
*(DSSC – Defence Services Staff College)
General Rawat and his wife were accompanied by seven other military passengers, including the pilot, and five crew members.
The only survivor of the accident was a captain serving in DSSC.
An eyewitness told local media that he heard several “terrible loud noises” before noticing the helicopter falling from the sky.
“I saw the helicopter coming down… it hit one tree and was on fire,” a nearby resident named Krishnaswamy, told The News Minute. “There were plumes of smoke when I ran over. In minutes, the fire was higher than my house.”
All Rescue actions were hampered due to the mountainous location of the accident site, which is dense with vegetation.
This India’s top military commander was born in the northern state of Uttarakhand on 16 March 1958.
He was reputed to be a tough soldier and an inspiring general. In recent months, the general was focusing on modernising the army.
Although the Mi-17V5 is among the most sophisticated military transport helicopters, India’s ageing air force fleet is often blamed for a high number of crashes.
Mi-17V5 is one of the most sophisticated military helicopters, India’s ageing Air Force fleet is often blamed for a large number of accidents.
JJ Singh (Former army chief) stated it was “a safe, proven helicopter”, adding that he himself journeyed on it in difficult conditions.
In the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh (2017), seven army personnel were killed in an accident when the helicopter was on a training flight.
A year earlier, another helicopter crashed shortly after take-off during a military exercise in the northern state of Uttarakhand. There was no report of any casualties.