You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Chopper crash: Heard a loud sound, copter was in flames, says eyewitness

India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others were killed when their IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district

Topics
Bipin Rawat | Indian Air Force | Tamil Nadu

IANS  |  Chennai 

Rescue officials at the spot where an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu (Photo: PTI)
Rescue officials at the spot where an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu (Photo: PTI)

A man who lives near the site where an (IAF) helicopter carrying CDS Gen among 14 others crashed on Wednesday, said he saw 12 bodies scattered near the site of the accident.

India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others were killed when their IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district, the IAF said.

"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," the IAF said in a tweet.

Ravi, an eye witness, said two persons -- whose suffered serious burn injuries, were rescued from the ill-fated chopper but they were struggling for life.

Ravi, who lives near the crash site at Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, told IANS: "I heard a loud sound and found the helicopter in flames and coming down. I rushed to the spot with a few local residents and found 12 charred bodies... we rescued two persons but they were struggling for life. An ambulance took them to the Army hospital, Wellington."

Gen Rawat was among the 14 persons on oard the ill-fated helicopter.

The chopper, with a total of 14 persons, took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore and was on its way to Coonoor. When the chopper was a few minutes away from landing, it, as per eyewitnesses, hit a tree, crashed, and caught fire, resulting in several casualties.

"We knew that they were Army officers but did not know that General Rawat was in the helicopter," he said.

Krishna Moorthy, a farmhand who was also with Ravi, said: "The sound was so loud that I felt the earth was cracking and suddenly found the helicopter coming down... The two persons whom we rescued had little life in them."

He said that immediately after the local people reached the spot and rescued the two persons, police, Fire, and Army officials reached the spot and shifted the 12 bodies to Wellington hospital.

Sukumaran, a local journalist, told IANS: "The weather condition for the past one week was very bad and it was full of mist. Today, the condition of the weather was very bad... It was only 87 km from Sullur airforce base to the Defence station, Wellington."

The CDS was to deliver a talk at the Wellington Staff college at 2.30 p.m. to the young cadet officers.

--IANS

aal/pgh

 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, December 08 2021. 20:47 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.