At Least 11 of the 14 on board are believed to be dead in the air chopper crash in Tamilnadu. India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika were also on board of the fateful chopper.
The crash occurred in the Nilgiris district, at a hilly area between Coimbatore and Sulur. The name of the accident site was given as Katteri-Nanchappanchathram.
No official confirmation of the dead have been announced but at least 11 of those on board are believed to have died in the crash that is believed to have occurred due to a technical snag in the Mi-17V5 helicopter. The Mi-17V5 helicopter is a trusted aircraft used for all dignitary movements, including the prime minister.
Three people have been rescued so far while a search is on for the fourth. People who suffered serious injuries have been taken to the hospital in Wellington cantonment in Nilgiris district. The helicopter, carrying a few senior officials, was on its way from Sulur in Coimbatore to DSC in Wellington where Rawat, along with Chief of Army Staff MM Naravane, was slated to participate in an event later. The chopper crashed in a forest area, reportedly due to poor visibility following heavy fog, official sources said.
The Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be briefing Parliament on the accident later.