Niligiris, December 8: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died on Wednesday in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district. A total of 14 people, including General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, were onboard the ill-fated Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) Mi-17 V5 helicopter when it crashed near Coonoor. The incident took place at the Nanjappanchathiram area between Sulur and Coimbatore. Thirteen personnel out of 14 onboard the helicopter died in the crash. Group Captain Varun Singh was critically injured in the crash.

After the crash, General Rawat was rushed to the Wellington military hospital. However, he succumbed to his injuries during treatment. The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the incident. The chopper took off from the Sulur airbase and was proceeding to Wellington when it crashed. Reportedly, General Rawat was to deliver a lecture at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington later in the day. IAF Mi-17 V5 Helicopter Carrying CDS General Bipin Rawat Crashes In Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris; Know All About The Russian-Made Chopper.

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According to reports, the helicopter was crashed due to poor visibility following heavy fog. Others who were in the chopper were Brigadier L.S. Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Naik Vivek Kumar, Naik B. Sai Teja, Havaldar Satpal and pilots. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the crash.

General Rawat was a four-star general of the Indian Army. He was the first CDS of India. On December 30, 2019, general Rawat was appointed as the first CDS of India and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Gen Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand. He was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on December 16, 1978.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 08, 2021 06:12 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website