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Tamil Nadu chopper crash: Majority of 14 on board IAF helicopter reported dead


Chennai: A majority of the 14 passengers on board an IAF helicopter that crashed in Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday have died.

According to the Tamil Nadu government, eight passengers were confirmed dead, while another report said that 11 bodies had been recovered.

Three passengers were rescued and taken to the Wellington cantonment hospital.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was to issue a statement in the Parliament on Wednesday. However, source said that the statement will be issued on Thursday.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife were among the passengers of the ill-fated IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter.

Defence Assistant Brigadier LS Lidder too was with them, besides other senior officials.

Hours after the chopper crash, Rajnath Singh visited CDS Rawat’s residence briefly.

Rawat was on way to deliver a lecture when the accident happened. According to reports, the crash took place about 10 km from the helipad where the chopper was to land.

CDS Bipin Rawat was on board the IAF chopper

Emergency teams and ambulances were rushed to the spot.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin said doctors were being sent to provide expert treatment to the injured.

Earlier, four passengers had been reported dead. However, more deaths were confirmed as the search and rescue operation progressed.

Earlier, Rajnath Singh briefed PM Narendra Modi about the mishap.

An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the chopper crash.

Several higher authorities, including IAF chief Vivek Ram Chaudhuri, left for Coonoor. Rajnath Singh, too, is likely to visit the spot.




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