(Zerohedge) – A military helicopter carrying India’s top defense chief crashed in southern India on Wednesday, reportedly killing him, his wife and 11 other people, according to Reuters .
Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat was one of the 14 onboard the Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter that ‘met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu,’ the Indian Air Force Tweeted.
‘An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,’ it added.
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 (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
Defense sources told Reuters Rawat’s status is unknown.
‘We don’t know yet,’ one of the sources said. At least four bodies were pulled from the wreckage. Three people have been rescued and transported to a local hospital.
What we know about the crash is that the helicopter experienced a very hard landing in a wooded area that burst into flames. Video confirmation of the wreckage has surfaced on social media.
#WATCH | Latest visuals from the spot (between Coimbatore and Sulur) where a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu. CDS Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the chopper. pic.twitter.com/6oxG7xD8iW
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2021
— Ahmed Quraishi (@_AhmedQuraishi) December 8, 2021
— Sameer ‘Sadiq’ Bhat (@sadiquiz) December 8, 2021
There’s even an alleged video of one survivor being pulled out of the severely mangled helicopter. He appears to be alive, but his health status is unknown.
#BREAKING | An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying India’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen #BipinRawat crashed in Coonoor. According to the sources, there were 14 people, including Rawat’s family members, were on board. pic.twitter.com/g912AiUef8
— Precious Viral (@preciousviral) December 8, 2021
As for Rawat, there are still many unknowns about his conditions. The top defense chief was traveling from an Indian Air Force base in Sulur to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu during the time of the incident.
There’s no word on what caused the helicopter to crash.
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