An Indian Army chopper has crashed near Coonoor in the nearby hilly Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. According to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat was present in the chopper when the accident happened. “An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu,” IAF confirmed in a tweet today.
Reports say that so far three people have been rescued from the debris while a search is on for other occupants. An Indian Army chopper with senior defence officials on board has crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. Reports said that Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was also among those on board the chopper. Early reports suggest that four to six people were on board the helicopter.
CDS Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the Mi-series chopper that crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu. Search and rescue operations launched from nearby bases:
A total of 14 people including Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, Defence Assistant, security commandos and IAF pilots were on board the chopper:
The local military officers have reached the location and were told that locals have taken two bodies with 80 per cent burns to a local hospital. Few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident. Efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities:
The chopper was on its way from the Sulur IAF base to the Defence Services College (DSC) at Wellington when it crashed. The mishap happened at the Nanjappanchathiram area amid heavy mist and early visuals showed the helicopter in flames. There has been no immediate information on possible casualties or injuries.
(More details will be added soon)