Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter died in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force confirmed.
"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," IAF tweeted.
IAF said Rawat was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiri Hills) to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course today. Around noon, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, it added.
IAF further said Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC is the only survivor in the unfortunate incident. He is injuried and is currently undergoing treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington.
Gp Capt Varun Singh was awarded Shaurya Chakra on this year’s Independence Day for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an aerial emergency in 2020.