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Watch video: Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari visits the chopper crash site near Coonoor

09:11 AM Dec 09, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Thursday morning reached the site of the chopper crash, that claimed the life of 13 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife, reported news agency ANI.

The IAF chief reached the crash site near Coonoor in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu along with state DGP C Sylendra Babu.

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The IAF confirmed the demise of General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others, who were on-board the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter.

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General Rawat, India's first CDS, was on a visit to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed. The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident.

Meanwhile, the news of CDS Rawat's demise was confirmed by Indian Air Force on Wednesday through their Twitter handle that read: "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."

General Rawat was appointed as India's first Chief of Defense Staff on December 31, 2019. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. He was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978.

A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including Northern and Eastern commands.

(With inputs from ANI)

Also Read: CDS Bipin Rawat: From childhood to early days in service; see pics

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