Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat died today in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu with 13 others.
Madhulika Rawat, the General’s wife, died.
After taking off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 crashed near Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The helicopter was already descending and would land in 10 minutes. It fell about 10 km from the nearest road, forcing rescuers to walk.
The crash was reported around 12.20 pm.
Rescuers searched through thick smoke and fire for bodies in video footage. Locals and cops rescued charred bodies from mangled metal and fallen trees.
General Rawat, 63, became India’s first CDS in January 2019. The position was created to integrate the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
He was also named head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.
It was a very stable aircraft used for VVIP flights, according to former army chiefs.
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