Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff, died today when an Air Force helicopter carrying him and 13 others crashed shortly after takeoff in Tamil Nadu. Madhulika Rawat, General Rawat’s wife, was also killed in this tragedy. The crash occurred shortly after the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 helicopter took off from the Air Force base in Sulur, Coimbatore, bound for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.
The helicopter was already descending and would have landed in 10 minutes. It crashed about 10 kilometres from the nearest road, forcing emergency personnel to trek to the scene. The crash was first reported at around 12.20 p.m.