An Indian Army helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and senior Indian defence officials on board, crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor Wednesday, as per Indian media reports.
Indian news agency ANI tweeted about the crash, saying that 14 people in total were on board the chopper, including the Indian defence assistant, IAF pilots and security commandos.
The development was confirmed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) via a tweet.
“An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” it added.
However, the tweet was subsequently deleted by the IAF.
In another tweet, ANI confirmed that two bodies, with 80% burns, were taken to a local hospital by the area’s locals. “Few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident. Efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities: Sources,” stated the ANI.
Three people have been rescued from the crash, all suffering serious injuries, as per India Today. The injured have been shifted to the Wellington cantonment for treatment.
Rawat is the most senior official in the Indian military. He is also an adviser to the Defense Ministry. He assumed the newly created post last year after retiring as army chief.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the Mi-17V5 helicopter was on its way from an air force base to the army defense services college when it crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.