India to Investigate Helicopter Crash That Killed Defense Staff Chief, Defence Minister Says

© REUTERS / STRINGERRescuers stand near the debris of the Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter after it crashed near the town of Coonoor in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, December 8, 2021
Rescuers stand near the debris of the Russian-made Mi-17V5 helicopter after it crashed near the town of Coonoor in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, December 8, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The Indian Air Force has ordered an investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Indian Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
"A tri Service enquiry regarding the incident has been ordered by Indian Air Force, headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command: Raksha Mantri," the minister wrote on Twitter.
According to Rajnath Singh, the helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base on Wednesday at 11:48 a.m. local time (06:48 GMT). It was expected to land in the Indian town of Wellington at 12:15 p.m. local time (07:15 GMT). However, air traffic control lost contact with the helicopter at 12:08 p.m. (07:08 GTM). A bit later, residents of Tamil Nadu noticed a fire in the forest. On the site, they saw the wreckage of the helicopter engulfed in flames.
On Wednesday, a Mi-17V5 helicopter with Rawat, his wife and high-ranking servicemen on board crashed in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
All 14 person on board were taken to the military hospital in Wellington, but 13 of them died from the severe injuries. The only survivor of the incident is Group Captain Varun Singh. He is currently on a life support in the hospital, the minister said.
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