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Indian Defence Chief, Wife, 11 Killed in Helicopter Crash

Wed 08 Dec 2021 | 03:11 PM
Omnia Ahmed

India's Defence Chief Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other people were killed after a military helicopter crashed near the town of Coonoor in southern India on Wednesday.

There were fourteen people on board. Rawat, his wife, defence assistant, security commandos, and an IAF pilot were on board the Mi-series chopper when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu, according to ANI news agency.

Rawat was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in late 2019.

The Air Force said that Rawat, who had previously served as India’s Chief of Army Staff, was traveling in an Mi-17V5 helicopter.

“An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the Air Force said in a tweet.

The accident took place around noon near the town of Coonoor, and the dead include four crew members of the Mi-17V5 helicopter, according to the Air Force.