Chennai, Dec 8: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in an Indian Air Force helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday.
Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat and others were in the chopper. He was going to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Coonoor district to give a lecture scheduled at about 3 p.m.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” Indian Air Force tweeted.
The IAF had confirmed a little before 2 pm that an Mi-17 V5 helicopter with General Rawat on board had “met with an accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu”.
The Air Force also said it had ordered an Inquiry into what happened.
The helicopter crashed shortly after it took off from the Air Force base in Sulur at 11.45 am, Coimbatore, for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The General was heading to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington.
It was making its descent and would have landed in 10 more minutes when it came down, barely 10 km from a road.