The cause of the crash and the details of other passengers are not yet known. An investigation has been commissioned to determine the cause of the accident.
“The Mi-17V5 IAF helicopter, with Gen. CDS Bipin Rawat on board, had an accident today near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu,” the Indian Air Force reported on Wednesday.
According to the public station Doordarshan, three people were rescued and transported to the hospital.
Bipin Rawat is India’s first chief of defense staff. The position was established by the Indian government in 2019 and took over last year after his retirement as head of the army. He is seen as close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is an advisor to the Ministry of Defense. Rawat comes from a military family where he served in the Indian armed forces for several generations. He is credited with reducing armed conflict on India’s northeastern border and overseeing a cross-border counter-insurgency operation in neighboring Burma.
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