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IAF chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat onboard crashes: CM Stalin to visit crash site

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Google Oneindia News

Chennai, Dec 08: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will be visiting Coonoor where a Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on board on Wednesday.

    LIVE: CDS GEN Bipin Rawat dies in chopper crash | Oneindia News
    Representational Image

    Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu's Forest Minister K Ramachandran who visited the spot where a chopper carrying Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat crashed has said that five persons have died in the incident.

    He also said that the situation of two others is very critical, while rescue operations are underway. He said that he had reached the site on the instructions of the Chief Minister.

    Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has also rushed to the spot.

    However, there was no immediate information on the condition of Gen Rawat, even as the IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident, involving a Mi-17VH chopper that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in nearby Coimbatore.

    TV visuals showed the badly damaged chopper in flames, possibly under the impact of the crash. Apparently, a major tragedy was averted as the helicopter fell at some distance away from a human habitation, averting possible mass casualties.

    The accident site was a scene of despair with trees being reduced to broken pieces under the impact of the crash, flames from the chopper engulfing the wooden logs resulting in billowing smoke and personnel scurrying to douse the fire, including using buckets and water hose.

    What seemed to be some charred bodies were also seen lying around. The mangled and burnt remains of the ill-fated IAF chopper were strewn along the site, even as rescue services personnel were seen carrying bodies in stretchers to be transported through waiting ambulances. The accident site remained out of bounds for civilians.

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