India: Military chief, 12 others die in helicopter crash

General Bipin Rawat

The Indian Air Force said today (Wednesday) that 13 people, including India’s defense chief General Bipin Rawat, died in a helicopter crash in the south of the country.

“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 on Twitter.

The 63-year-old chief of defense staff was traveling in a Russian-made Mi-17V5 chopper that “met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force said.

“An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” it added.

Rawat and his wife, along with some officers, were on board the helicopter headed to the army’s defense services college, a senior army officer has stated.

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