Helicopter Crashes With India’s Top Military General Aboard

 A helicopter carrying India’s top military official crashed on Wednesday in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, officials said.

 According to the reports 14 people were on the flight, including relatives of the official, Gen. Bipin Rawat. The number of casualties and survivors, and the condition of General Rawat, were not clear.

A local official at the scene of the crash said rescuers had been able to save one passenger, who had been taken to a nearby hospital. A second official who had also visited the site said 13 people had been retrieved from the wreckage, but would not comment on their condition, or even if any of them had survived.

The Indian Air Force, in a brief statement, confirmed that General Rawat was on the flight when it went down near Coonoor, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, around noon local time, and said an investigation would be conducted to determine what had caused the crash.

Helicopter crashes with India Military Chief and his wife on board (photos)
Indian Army helicopter with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board crashes; 11 dead

 Deepak Manobala, a village administrative officer in Coonoor, said in a phone interview“I reached the crash site shortly after 12:30 p.m. Locals around the site heard a huge blast and then fire and smoke emanated from the site of crash,”.

“All I could see was smoke and the tail of the aircraft, which was the only visible part.”

General Rawat, 63, a former army chief, was elevated to the newly created position of chief of the defense staff in January 2019. His career has included leadership roles in the country’s restive northeast, as well as United Nations peacekeeping missions abroad.

As the coordinator of the various wings of the Indian military and the principal uniformed adviser to the government, General Rawat had the task of overhauling and streamlining an Indian military that has  struggled moderinze.

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