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Military chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat on board crashes: What we know so far, latest updates

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 8 December 2021, 16:19 IST

A military chopper with Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, a family member, and several of his staff members, including his Defence Assistant, security commandos and other Air Force personnel on board, went down at 12.20 pm in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu.

Top 10 points in this big story:

1) 14 people, five crew and nine passengers - were on board the Air Force's Mi-17V5 helicopter. The IAF has confirmed General Rawat was on board. There is no confirmation on his condition at this time.

2) Five people have lost their lives. Two are in hospital with 90 per cent burn injuries. A search is on for the others. The injured are being treated at the military hospital at the Wellingdon base.

3) The identities of those killed is being held back at this point of time. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and will brief Parliament in a short time. A meeting of senior defence officials is taking place in Delhi. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will leave for the crash site at 5 pm.

4) The chopper went down shortly after it took off this morning from an Air Force base in Sulur near Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore. It was heading towards Wellington in Udhagamandalam, also known as Ooty.

5) The crash was first reported around 12.20 pm. The defence organisations came to know about the crash from locals in nearby Katteri who notified the district administration. Eight ambulances and medical teams from Coimbatore and Wellingdon have arrived at the scene.


6) The Tamil Nadu government has sent senior officials, including the Nilgiri District Collector, to the crash site. A medical team from Udhagamandalam and experts from Coimbatore have arrived at the scene. The Forest Minister is also on his way to the crash site. Locals are assisting in the rescue efforts.

7) The crash site is located in a forested area, which makes access to the wreckage tough. Visuals showed debris of the chopper, some of which is still ablaze, scattered on the hillside and rescuers at work, struggling due to thick smoke and fire.

8) Ex-Army chief General JJ Singh while talking to the NDTV said that the bodies that have been recovered are charred, which is making identification difficult. Those rescued have sustained severe burn.

9) The IAF, while tweeting confirmation that CDS Rawat was on board, has also said a probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the crash.

10) The Mi series choppers are the workhorse of the IAF and are used in high-altitude ops. They are also used by VIPs, including the Prime Minister.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu: CDS Bipin Rawat was on-board crashed chopper, confirms IAF; orders inquiry

Also Read: Military chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat, others on board crashes in Tamil Nadu

First published: 8 December 2021, 16:18 IST