CM – The group captain is the sole survivor of the chopper crash: 10 Latest Developments


The Indian Air Force tweeted at 6:03 p.m. that evening to confirm that General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat had died. 14 people – five crew members and nine passengers – were on board the Mi-17V5 helicopter, which crashed at 12:20 p.m. in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu.

« It was now noted with deep regret that General Bipin Rawat, Ms. Madhulika Rawat and eleven other people on board died in the unfortunate accident, « said the Air Force.

According to the Nilgiris District Collector, 13 of the 14 people on board died. A lone male survivor – Group Captain Varun Singh – is being treated for serious injuries.

« Group Captain Varun Singh SC, senior staff of the DSSC, with injuries is currently being treated at the Wellington Military Hospital, » the Air Force confirmed. </ Honors for General Rawat have begun with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Interior Minister Amit Shah and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar leading the way. Bengal Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP Congressman Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar also tweeted.

Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Modi earlier in the day. Parliament will be informed tomorrow. The Prime Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, is on his way to the crash site, as is Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.

The Cabinet High-Level Committee on Security, which includes the Prime Minister, Interior Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar will meet tonight.

The helicopter crashed this morning shortly after taking off from an air base in Sulur near Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore. It went to Wellington in Udhagamandalam, also known as Ooty, which is home to a college for defense personnel.

The crash was first reported around 12.20pm. The defense learned of the incident from villagers in nearby Katteri, who informed the district administration. Eight ambulances and medical teams from Coimbatore and Wellington are on site.

The crash site was in a wooded area, which made access to the wreckage difficult. Pictures showed parts of the helicopter, some of which were still in flames, scattered on the slope and rescuers at work fighting their way through thick smoke and fire.

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