Bipin Rawat no more, dies in chopper crash in TN, his wife, 11 others lost

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A Russian made Mi-17 chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 12 others crashed near Coonooor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday afternoon. There were 14 passengers on board. !3 have died. In a tweet Indian Air Force confirmed the death of General Bipin Rawat, his wife, Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board. The tweet said, “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.” Another IAF tweet said, “Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington”.

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was scheduled to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course in Wellington.

Visuals from the accident site showed that some people were trying to extinguish the fiery wreck with water buckets. Also one of the injured passenger was being taken away by a group of soldiers on an improvised stretcher.General Rawat was on his way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington from the nearby air force base in Coimbatore. The helicopter was making its descent when it crashed. According to available information, the helicopter came down 10 kilometers ( around six miles) from the nearest road. Emergency workers were forced to trek to the accident site.

General Bipin Rawat is India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. , a position that the government established in 2019. General Rawat ‘s association with army started in 1978 when he joined the army as a second lieutenant. He has spent four decades with army. He has commanded forces in Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.

President, PM condole Bipin Rawat’s death

President Ram Nath Kovind said, “I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said,” I am deeply anguished by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we have lost Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. They served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”