Saturday, June 25, 2022
banner
Home /  World  /  Chopper crash kills Indian military boss

Chopper crash kills Indian military boss

Chopper crash kills Indian military boss

dpa
New Delhi
A military helicopter carrying India’s highest-ranking military official crashed in southern India on Wednesday, according to the nation’s air force.
General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other people died, the Indian Air Force announced on Twitter. A total of 14 people had been on board the Russian-made Mi-17V5 aircraft, it said. One officer, Group Captain Varun Singh, survived and is being treated in a military hospital.
The IAF said in a Twitter post the “tragic accident” took place near the town of Coonoor at noon (06:30 GMT) on Wednesday.
Rawat was on a visit to the prestigious Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington to address the faculty and student officers. Singh, the sole survivor and a decorated pilot, is a staff member at DSSC.
The Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter was on its way from an air force base to the Defence Services Staff College when it crashed.
The reason for the crash was not immediately known An investigation is planned to determine the cause of the accident. Indian media showed videos of the burning wreckage in a wooded area.
Rawat had been India’s first chief of defence staff since 2019.
The position included the army, navy and air force under one command as part of efforts to modernise the Indian military.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Rawat was an “outstanding soldier” and a “true patriot” who greatly contributed to modernising the country’s armed forces and security apparatus.
“His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply,” Modi said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Rawat “served the country with exceptional courage and diligence”.
Archrival Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, expressed his condolences on the “tragic death” of Rawat and his wife, its government said in a tweet.
He was considered close to Prime Minister Modi and was an adviser to the Ministry of Defence.
His primary task was to overhaul the military, which has struggled to modernise and improve coordination among the army, navy and air force.

Pages