In what can be called a significant loss to the nation, the Indian Air Force has confirmed that Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat has died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
General Rawat Sulur was on his way from the IAF station to the Defense Services Staff College in Coonoor’s Wellington when the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter he was traveling crashed in a wooded area Nilgris district at around 12:20 pm.
“With deep regret, it is now learned that General Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, and 11 others on board the aircraft have died in the unfortunate accident,” the Indian Air Force release said. The readout also stated that Group Captain Varun Singh is undergoing treatment at a military hospital in Wellington with injuries.
The mortal remains of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife, along with other armed forces personnel killed in the chopper crash, are expected to reach Delhi by tomorrow evening.
Around this afternoon, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter carrying four-member CDS and nine other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor.
Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
“I am deeply saddened by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we have lost General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other armed forces personnel. He served India with utmost diligence. My condolences to the bereaved families.” PM Modi tweeted.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed grief over the incident when he tweeted the following confirming General Rawat’s death, “Deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others.
Among the passengers were CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kar, L/Nayak Vivek Kumar, L/Nayak B Sai Teja, and Havildar Satpal, tweeted ANI.