A military chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat crashed shortly after take-off in Tamil Nadu today. There were 14 people on board including the wife of the Defence Chief. Identities of the bodies that have been recovered have to be confirmed through DNA testing.
The chopper is said to have crashed in a forest area near Coonoor in Nilgiris district. The exact cause of the crash is not known but according to official sources, it could have been caused by poor visibility due to heavy fog. Seven bodies have been recovered so far.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will visit Coimbatore to take stock of the situation. Meanwhile, an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter was airborne from Sulur to Wellington. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will brief Parliament on the accident tomorrow.