India's first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 others on board an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter died in a horrific crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district on Wednesday.
"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," the Indian Air Force announced in a tweet.
The CDS was going to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, to give a lecture.
The chopper, with a total of 14 persons on board, took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore and was on its way to Coonoor. When the chopper was a few minutes away from landing, it, as per eyewitnesses, hit a tree, crashed, and caught fire, resulting in several casualties.
Out of the 14 people on board, only Group Captain Varun Singh managed to survive the crash with severe injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at a military hospital in Wellington.
(With PTI Inputs)