Army helicopter crash LIVE: India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others were killed when their IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu‘s Nilgiris district on Wednesday. “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,” the Indian Air Force said in a tweet. The Chief of Defence Staff was on his way to the Defence Staff College in Wellington. The chopper, which took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore, crashed in a forest area, reportedly due to poor visibility following heavy fog. The chopper was a few minutes away from landing when the mishap took place. As per eyewitnesses, it hit a tree, crashed, and caught fire, resulting in several casualties.
Here are the LIVE updates
19:36 PM: What happened in CCS Meet
“In today’s Cabinet Committee on Security meeting headed by PM Modi, all members observed two minutes of silence & paid tributes to all those who have lost their lives in the military chopper crash”, news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.
19:21 PM: Indian Army on Gen Rawat’s Demise
“Gen. Bipin Rawat, India’s first CDS, was a visionary who initiated far reaching reforms in Indian military’s higher defence org. He was instrumental in creating foundation of India’s joint theatre commands&giving impetus to increased indigenisation of military equipment”, Indian Army said in a statement.
It added, “General MM Naravane & all ranks of the Indian Army express their deepest grief and sorrow over the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, President DWWA & 11 other military personnel in an unfortunate air accident today.”
19:15 PM: It’s deeply painful for me to learn about the demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat. He devoted his life to the nation. My condolences to his family, said Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
19:09 PM: Anil Kapoor extends condolences
“A shocking & devastating loss. Sending our heartfelt condolences & prayers to the families. I am honoured to have met Gen Bipin Rawat.
Om Sadgati Folded hands”, tweeted Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor.
19:00 PM: PM Modi chairs Cabinet Committee on Security meeting at his residence.
18:58 PM: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said “deeply shocked” at the demise of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other Armed Forces personnel.
18:36 PM: ‘Deeply Pained’, Tweets Amit Shah
“A very sad day for the nation as we have lost our CDS, General Bipin Rawat Ji in a very tragic accident. He was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained”, tweeted Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti”, tweeted PM Modi.
He added,”As India’s first CDS, Gen Rawat worked on diverse aspects relating to our armed forces including defence reforms. He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service.”
18:20 PM: President Kovind extends condolences.
18:18 PM: The mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with other Armed Forces personnel killed in the chopper crash expected to arrive in Delhi by evening tomorrow.
18:17 PM: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expresses anguish over the demise of first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in the IAF chopper crash, earlier today in Tamil Nadu.
18:13 PM: Indian Air Force announces the demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat along with 12 others in chopper crash. “Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today.Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, TN. 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”, IAF said in a statement.
18:00 PM: “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”, IAF said in a statement.
17:15 PM: Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was pilot of the Mi-17V5 which crashed with 14 personnel on board including CDS Gen Bipin Rawat. He is the Commanding Officer of the 109 Helicopter Unit: Sources
17:09 PM: Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to meet at 6:30 PM today.
17:00 PM: 13 of the 14 personnel involved in the military chopper crash in Tamil Nadu have been confirmed dead. Identities of the bodies to be confirmed through DNA testing, news agency ANI reported quoting sources.
16:41 PM: Army Chief General MM Naravane briefs Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over the incident.
16:18 PM: Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin says he going to the spot of the military chopper crash involving CDS Bipin Rawat. He said he has instructed the local administration to provide all the help needed in rescue operations.
16:00 PM: Government likely to issue a statement tomorrow in Parliament on the crash of the military chopper with Chief of Defence Staff on board, news agency ANI reported quoting sources.
15:55 PM: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh leaves from the residence of CDS Bipin Rawat.
15:45 PM: Rajnath Singh arrives at CDS Bipin Rawat’s residence.
15:44 PM: Saddened to hear that the IAF chopper carrying CDS General Bipin Rawat crashed. I am trying to gather more information on the incident. As per preliminary information, he has been taken to hospital for treatment, said Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
15:39 PM: Union Home Minister Amit Shah reaches Parliament.
15:30 PM: I have reached here (chopper crash site) on the instructions of the CM. Out of the 14 people on board, five people have died and the situation of two others is critical. Rescue operation is underway, said Tamil Nadu Forest Minister K Ramachandran.
15:20 PM:Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari is reaching Sulur airbase, say sources
15:19 PM: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is monitoring the situation following crash of IAF chopper carrying CDS Bipin Rawat & others. A meeting of senior Defence Ministry officials is underway. Singh has briefed the PM about the crash, said sources
15:06 PM: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to move Coimbatore from Chennai Airport today evening and then move to Nilgiris, following the incident of military chopper crash between Coimbatore and Sulur.
15:05 PM: Of the total 14, 11 people are reported to be dead. An official confirmation is awaited.
15:00 PM: The IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter was airborne from Sulur for Wellington. There were 14 persons on board, including the crew: Indian Air Force
14:51 PM: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the Parliament on the helicopter crash in a while.
14:45 PM: CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife undergoing treatment at hospital in Tamil Nadu. A team of medical staff from Delhi rushed to a military hospital, Wellington.
14:43 PM: 14 people were on-board the military chopper that crashed b/w Coimbatore&Sulur in Tamil Nadu. They included CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kr, L/Naik Vivek Kumar, L/Naik B Sai Teja & Hav Satpal.
14:40 PM: CDS Rawat was scheduled to give a lecture at 2:45 pm today.
14:35 PM: Official sources said all the injured people on board the Mi-17V5 helicopter have been evacuated from the spot of the accident.
14:34 PM: Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat reacted to the Indian army chopper crash. Taking to Twitter, he said, “Unfortunate news of the Army chopper crash in Tamil Nadu. My prayers for the safety and wellbeing of CDS Bipin Rawat ji, his family and all defence officers who were on board.”
14:30 PM: “Hoping for the safety of CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and others onboard the chopper. Prayers for speedy recovery”, tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
14:19 PM: Images emerging from the accident site showed the wreckage in the hills. Rescuers can be seen struggling through thick smoke and fire.
14:15 PM: As per the reports of NDTV, bodies have been recovered from the site of the crash (between Coimbatore and Sulur where a military chopper crashed) and been taken to Military Hospital, Wellington in Tamil Nadu.
14:10 PM: Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and his family members rushed to hospital, reported news channels.
14:00 PM: Full list of passengers
13:59 PM: The local military officers have reached the location and were told that locals have taken two bodies with 80 per cent burns to a local hospital. Few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident. Efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities, said Sources
13:00 PM: An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident: Indian Air Force.
Mi-17 V5 helicopter | All You Need to Know
- The Mi-17V-5, a Russian-made military transport helicopter designed to carry personnel, cargo, and equipment
- Its primary task includes tactical air drops, to destroy targets on the ground and carry the wounded.
- ·According to information available on the website of Rosoboronexport, the Russian arms supplier, the helicopter is fitted with a heavily armoured cockpit and a self-defense system against heat-seeking missiles
- It can carry arms like unguided rockets, cannons, and small arms.
- ·Touted as one of the most advanced military transports, Mi-17 V5 is operable in any geographical condition, in adverse climatic conditions
Courtesy – India.Com