A helicopter carrying the Indian Army Chief Crash. 13 dead


New Delhi — A helicopter carrying an Indian military commander crashed on Wednesday in southern Tamil Nadu, killing 13 of the 14 on board, officials said.

The status of Bipin Rawat, President of the Integrated Chief of Staff, was not announced immediately.

SP Amris, a senior civilian administrator in the area where the crash occurred, said the rescuer was able to save a male passenger who was taken to the hospital for treatment. A total of 14 people were on board the helicopter, Amris said.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh was expected to issue a statement to Congress soon.

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati said the Mi-17V5 helicopter was on its way from an air base to the Army Defense Services University when it crashed near the town of Coonoor, a summer resort in Tamil Nadu. The reason for the crash was not immediately apparent.

General Manojim Kundnaravan of the Indian Army will arrive at the residence of Secretary of Defense Bipinrawat in New Delhi, India, on December 8, 2021. (Altaf Qadri / AP photo)

Television images from the crash site showed smoke swirling from the wreckage as locals extinguished the fire and tried to remove the corpse from the wreckage.

The Air Force said in a tweet that it had been ordered to investigate the accident.

Rawat, 63, is the highest executive of the Indian Armed Forces and the first Defense President founded by the government in 2019. He is also a Defense Ministry advisor and is responsible for coordinating and integrating the Defense Ministry’s combat capabilities. army.

Rawat was previously the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Sheikh Sarik and Ashok Sharma

Associated Press