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Tri-service inquiry ordered into IAF chopper crash, Rajnath Singh tells Parliament

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  • The inquiry into the chopper crash will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh

New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament on Thursday that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a tri-service inquiry into the IAF chopper crash in Tamil Nadu that left CDS Bipin Rawat and 12 others dead.

The investigation will be headed by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh.

Briefing the Parliament about the mishap, Rajnath Singh said, “Gen Bipin Rawat was on a scheduled visit to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington to interact with the student Officers. The Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 am yesterday and was expected to land at Wellington by 12:15 pm.”

Air Traffic Control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the helicopter at approximately 12:08 pm, he said.

A few locals spotted a fire in the forest near Coonoor and rushed to the spot. “They observed the wreckage of military helicopter engulfed in flames. Rescue teams from the local administration in the vicinity reached the site and attempted to recover the survivors from the crash site,” Singh told the House.

Those who were recovered from the wreckage were rushed to Military Hospital, Wellington.

“Latest reports have confirmed that out of the total 14 persons onboard the ill-fated helicopter, 13 have succumbed to their injuries,” the minister said.

Besides Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Defence Adviser Brig Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff Officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed Forces personnel including the Air Force helicopter crew were on board.

The others were Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja.

Group Captain Varun Singh is the only one who survived the chopper crash. He is on life support in the Military Hospital at Wellington and all efforts are being made to save his life, Singh said.

 

Opposition suspends protest in RS as tribute to CDS Rawat, others

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that no protest would be held on the day as a mark of tribute to CDS Bipin Rawat and others who died in the chopper crash on Wednesday. They have been protesting the suspension of the 12 MPs from the House on the first day of the Winter Session of the Parliament.

 

 

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