Helicopter Crashes With India’s Top Military General Aboard

NEW DELHI — A helicopter carrying India’s top military official crashed on Wednesday in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, officials said.

According to local news reports, 14 people were on the flight, including relatives of the official, Gen. Bipin Rawat. The number of casualties and survivors, and the condition of General Rawat, were not clear.

An official at the scene of the crash said that rescuers had been able to save one passenger, who had been taken to a nearby hospital.

Video footage showed the wreckage in a forested slope, with rescue workers trying to douse the flames.

The Indian Air Force, in a brief statement, confirmed that General Rawat was on the flight when it went down near Coonoor, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, around noon local time, and said that an investigation would be conducted to determine what had caused the crash.

General Rawat, 63, a former army chief, was elevated to the newly created position of chief of the defense staff in January 2019. His career has included leadership roles in the country’s restive northeast, as well as United Nations peacekeeping missions abroad.

As the coordinator of the various wings of the Indian military and the principal uniformed adviser to the government, General Rawat had the task of overhauling and streamlining an Indian military that has struggled to modernize. Recent clashes with Pakistan and China have again raised concerns about the state of India’s military equipment in the face of a two-pronged threat on its borders.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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