CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 Army personnel die in an Army helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu

‘CDS’ means the Chief of all the three defence forces

Editorial comments

  • If military planes and helicopters are crashing in such a way during peacetime, how will India fight the enemy during the war ?
  • The death of a senior Army officer and a pilot in such an accident is a great loss to the Army. This is shameful to all political parties who have not taken it seriously so far !

Coonoor (TN) –13 people, including General Bipin Rawat and his wife, who served as the head of the three Indian Armed Forces, died after a Mi17V5 helicopter crashed into a Nilgiri hill and caught fire. Four were injured in the accident. Three of them died at the Wellington Military Hospital, 9 kms from the accident spot. One is still critical and undergoing treatment. Bipin Rawat was en route to the Defence Staff College in Wellington. The bodies of the victims have been burnt 80% and it has become difficult to identify them. Therefore, they will be identified by DNA test.

The helicopter was en route from Sulur in Tamil Nadu to Coonoor when it crashed at 12:20 pm. The cause of the accident is not yet ascertained, but bad weather and fog are said to have caused the accident. The Army has ordered an investigation of the accident. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will reportedly give official information about this accident in Parliament on 9th December. Rajnath Singh visited General Bipin Rawat’s residence and met his family.

Rescue operations were launched after the helicopter crashed. Helicopter fire was extinguished with the help of locals after a 90-minutes effort. Due to the hilly terrain, it was difficult to reach there.

General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier L.S. Lidder, Lieutenant Col. Harjinder Singh, Naik Gursevak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B. Sai Teja, and Havaldar Satpal are some of the names involved in this accident that have been officially announced.

General Bipin Rawat is the first ‘Chief of Defence Staff’ of the country (Chief of all the three armed forces) !

General Bipin Rawat was the first Chief of Defence Staff of the country. He accepted the post on January 1, 2020. General Rawat was the Chief of Army Staff from 31st December 2016 to 31st December 2019. During his tenure as Army chief, a surgical strike was carried out in Pakistan.

Bipin Rawat was born on 16th March 1958 in Dehradun. Rawat’s father L.S. Rawat was also a Lieutenant General. Bipin Rawat received his primary education at St. Edward’s School, Shimla. He then joined the Indian Military Academy. At the academy, he received his first award, the Sword of Honour. Bipin Rawat then graduated from the Service Staff College in the United States. After returning to India from the US, he got recruited into the Army. He was first assigned to the 5th Battalion of the Indian Army’s Gorkha Rifles. He served in several positions in the military and received many awards during this period. These include the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.

Features of ultramodern Mi17V5 helicopter !

The Mi-17V5 helicopter is considered to be the most advanced helicopter in the world. Its accident rate is negligible. The helicopter has faced just a single accident since it was inducted into the Indian Army in 2012. The same helicopter is also used for the President and the Prime Minister. It is also used to move soldiers and officers from one place to another. This is a Russian-made helicopter. The Indian Air Force is currently using several MI series helicopters. In 2008, the Ministry of Defence had agreed to purchase 80 such helicopters. The cost of one helicopter is ₹121 Crore.

2-3 people jumped out of the helicopter at the time of the accident ! – An Eyewitness

A person named Krishnasamy saw the helicopter crash. He said, ‘Suddenly, there was a loud bang. So, I came out of the house and saw a helicopter crashing into a tree and then into another tree and ultimately catching fire. It caught fire during the collision. At the same time, 2-3 people were jumping out of the helicopter. Their bodies were caught by fire’.