An Indian Air Force helicopter, carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, crashed within the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, reported Indian media on Wednesday.
Officials stated they had been nonetheless checking to see if Rawat was among the many lifeless.
“An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the IAF tweeted.
According to Indian media, a minimum of 4 individuals are confirmed lifeless and a minimum of three folks have been rescued with severe accidents.
Reports recommend that there have been a minimum of 14 folks on board the ill-fated helicopter.
CDS Rawat, his spouse, defence assistant, safety personnel and the IAF aircrew had been on board the helicopter when it crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu, stated Indian information company ANI.
Video footage confirmed rescue staff dousing steaming wreckage in a wooded space.
Rawat was on his approach to Wellington in Coonoor from an IAF airbase in Sulur near Coimbatore, sources advised Indian media and had left Delhi earlier as we speak.
Tamil Nadu chief minister, MK Stalin, instructed the native administration to offer the very best medical care to the injured. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have additionally been briefed over the incident.
Rawat was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities in late 2019. The place was arrange with the purpose of integrating India’s three providers — the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.