Tamil Nadu: In one of the India’s greatest military tragedy, the country was in shock to learn the tragic and sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others died after the Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder, the military advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff, and staff officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh, Wing Commander PS Chauhan, Squadron Leader K Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Havildar Satpal, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitender Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar and Lance Naik Sai Teja were on-board when their IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district on the afternoon of December 8, 2021. Group Captain Varun Singh is the lone survivor of the crash and is battling for life in critical condition at the military hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
Group Captain Varun Singh was awarded the Shaurya Chakra on this year’s Independence Day for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an aerial emergency in 2020.
With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
The accident of the ill-fated helicopter occurred when the CDS General Bipin Rawat was on his way to deliver a speech at the Wellington Staff college at 2.30 pm to the young cadet officers.
According to eyewitnesses at the crash site in Connor had said that three persons, including Gen. Rawat, had been rescued alive with severe burn injuries and shifted to the Military Hospital in Wellington, where Gen. Rawat succumbed to his injuries soon afterwards.
Here are few images
Last moments video before accident
The locals captured last moments of the Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others before it disappeared in what appear as thick fog.
The nation mourns the tragic demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and 13 others in the helicopter accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ramnath Kovind, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi offered condolences on the tragedy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet said he was an “outstanding soldier and a true patriot”.
“Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus,” Modi said in a tweet.
Gen Bipin Rawat was an outstanding soldier. A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/YOuQvFT7Et— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 8, 2021
President Ramnath Kovind in his condolence message said “The nation has lost one of its bravest sons”. He further added “It’s deeply painful for me to learn of the loss of lives in the chopper crash. I join the fellow citizens in paying tributes to each of those who died while performing their duty. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”
I am shocked and anguished over the untimely demise of Gen. Bipin Rawat and his wife, Madhulika ji. The nation has lost one of its bravest sons. His four decades of selfless service to the motherland was marked by exceptional gallantry and heroism. My condolences to his family.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) December 8, 2021
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed CDS Bipin Rawat’s death as “unprecedented tragedy”.
I extend my condolences to the family of Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 8, 2021
This is an unprecedented tragedy and our thoughts are with their family in this difficult time.
Heartfelt condolences also to all others who lost their lives.
India stands united in this grief.
(With inputs from PTI )