Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], December 8 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will visit the spot in the Nilgiris, Coonoor where a Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others crashed on Wednesday.

The chief minister will travel to Coimbatore from Chennai and later move to The Nilgiris to take stock of the mishap in which five people are confirmed to have died and two others have been reported with severe injuries in the crash.

Today in the evening, the chief minister will travel to Coimbatore from Chennai and later move to The Nilgiris.

CM Stalin tweeted, "I am deeply shockeddisheartened on hearing the army chopper with CDS General Bipin Rawat and 13 others have met with an accident near Coonoor. I've instructed the local administration to provide all the help needed in rescue operations even as I'm rushing to the spot."General Rawat was on his way from the Sulur IAF Station to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in Coonoor when the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter in which he was travelling crashed in a forested area in the Niligris district around 12:20 pm.

Five bodies have been recovered from the crash site and two others have been hospitalised with severe injuries.

Rawat's wife Madhulika Rawat, his DA Brigadier LS Lidder, his SO Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh were among the 14 people, including five crew members on board the chopper that crashed.

The Indian Air Force has issued a list of names of General Rawat's staff who were also 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 are among those onboard the aircraft.

The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Tamil Nadu State forest minister K Ramachandran said that five of the 14 people on board the chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff chief General Bipin Rawat, which crashed near Coonoor in the nearby hilly in the Nilgiris district on Wednesday have been confirmed killed, while two others are critically injured.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Air Force confirmed that General Rawat was on board an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter that met with an accident while going from Sulur to Wellington in Tamil Nadu. (ANI)

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