Reported By:| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA webdesk |Updated: Dec 08, 2021, 09:37 PM IST
Thirteen out of 14 people on board an Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force died in a crash in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The casualties include India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, senior army officials, and the crew members. IAF’s Group Captain Varun Singh is the sole survivor of the crash. He is currently undergoing treatment and his condition is said to be critical.
The IAF has informed that Singh is being treated at the Military Hospital in Wellington.
He was awarded Shaurya Chakra on this year’s Independence Day for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an aerial emergency in 2020.
The helicopter crashed around noon shortly after it took off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills. The CDS was heading to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course on Wednesday.
“Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, TN,” the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
The Indian Air Force has issued a list of names of General Rawat’s staff who were on-board the crashed chopper. These include Brigadier LS Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kumar, L/NK Vivek Kumar, L/NK B Sai Teja, and Hav Satpal are among those on board the aircraft.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.