Helicopter crashes with India’s defence chief on board

TEHRAN, Dec. 08 (MNA) – An army chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and 13 others on board crashed in Tamil Nadu a short while ago.

Five people are dead and two are in hospital with severe burn injuries. More details are not known so far, NDTV reported

General Rawat's wife, Defence Assistant, security commandos and Indian Air Force personnel were also among 14 people on board.

The Indian Air Force confirmed in a tweet that the Chief of Defence Staff was on the flight. He had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur earlier today.

"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 in the Nilgiris, shortly after the Mi-series chopper took off from the army base in Sulur.

The chopper was heading to the defence establishment in Wellington in the Nilgiris.

Visuals showed the wreckage scattered on the hillside and rescuers at work, struggling through thick smoke and fire.

General Rawat, 63, took charge as India's first Chief of Defence Staff in January 2019. He has also appointed the head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.

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News Code 181552

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