New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the residence of General Bipin Rawat, to express condolences to the family after an IAF chopper carrying India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, his wife and 12 others on Wednesday crashed near Coonor in Tamil Nadu this afternoon, killing 13 aboard.
Rajnath Singh has also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the incident.
Soon after the IAF confirmed the death of Gen Rawat, the Defence Minister tweeted: “Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country”.
He is likely to make a statement in Parliament on the matter on Thursday.
Gen Rawat was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri to address the faculty and student officers.
General Rawat, along with his wife and seven staff, boarded a flight at Delhi for the Sulur IAF base near Coimbatore at 8.47 a.m, landed in Sulur at 11.34 a.m., and boarded the Mi17V5 helicopter at 11:48. At 12.22 pm, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) lost contact with the chopper, which crashed in a forest area around 7 km from Coonoor. (IANS)