Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the Coonoor helicopter tragedy on Wednesday, comfirmed the Indian Air Force (IAF). "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 tweeted.
IAF said Rawat 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, 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, Tamil Nadu, it added.
IAF said Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC is the only survivor in the unfortunate incident. He is injuried and is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington.
The Indian Air Force earlier issued a list of names of General Rawat's staff who were on board the crashed chopper. Apart from CDS General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kumar, L/NK Vivek Kumar, L/NK B Sai Teja and Hav Satpal were among those on board.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.
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