IAF chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat on board crashes in Tamil Nadu

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An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the IAF said on Twitter. The chopper was on its way from the Sulur air base to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington

An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter with chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on board crashed near Conoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the IAF has confirmed. The CDS was accompanied by his wife Madhulika Rawat, his staff and other officials, people familiar with the development said.

There people on board the chopper included Rawat’s defence assistant Brigadier LS Lidder and his staff officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, the officials said.

An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the IAF said on Twitter. There was no official word on injuries sustained by the occupants of the IAF’s new Mi-17 V5 helicopter. The chopper was on its way from the Sulur air base to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington.

Rawat took charge as India’s first CDS on December 31, 2019 after serving as the army chief for a full three-year term.

Rawat survived a Cheetah crash in Dimapur, Nagaland on February 3, 2015. He was a lieutenant general at that time.

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