IAF copter goes down: From crash location to where Gen Bipin Rawat was heading, here's what we know
Group Captain Varun Singh, SC, Directing Staff at DSSC, the sole survivor of the crash, is undergoing treatment for his injuries at Military Hospital in Wellington
General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) died after a military helicopter crashed in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force said today.
Group Captain Varun Singh, SC, Directing Staff at DSSC, the sole survivor of the crash, is undergoing treatment for his injuries at Military Hospital in Wellington.
While there was no immediate information on the condition of General Rawat, the IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Here's everything we know about the crash thus far:
- The IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter took off from the Sulur IAF Station in Coimbatore.
- The copter crashed around 11.30 am in Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area near Coonoor in the hilly Nilgiris district.
- The site of the accident was on a Ghat road between Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
- TV visuals showed the chopper in flames, apparently under the impact of the crash.
- Rescue personnel, along with army personnel, were seen involved in clearing the area.
- The Chief of Defence Staff, along with a few senior officials, was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington where he was to give a lecture at 2.45 and participate in an event along with Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane.
- The Defence Services Staff College, of which Rawat was an alumni, founded in 1947, is one of the earliest institutions of its kind in the entire world to provide under one roof training to officers of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, along with officers of the civil services.
- The injured have been taken to Wellington cantonment in Nilgiris.
- Wellington Cantonment is situated three kilometres to the north of Coonoor. The Mettupalayam-Ooty road passes through the Cantonment.
- Wellington is a Class II Cantonment with a population of around 20,000 and is located atop the Nilgiris. It is about 15 kilometres from Ooty.
- Defence minister Rajnath Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will brief Parliament.
With inputs from PTI
The twin-engine 'AW 109 power elite' helicopter was also embroiled in controversy after the then BJP government faced allegations of corruption in its procurement in 2007
According to reports, no passengers were on board when the helicopter crashed at 9 pm on Thursday
The armed forces and the nation urgently need a CDS and not appointing one is damaging the system rather than benefiting it