New Delhi, Dec 8, 2008 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited General Bipin Rawat’s residence to offer condolences.This was after an IAF chopper carrying India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, his spouse, and 12 others crashed near Coonor, Tamil Nadu, killing 13 people.Rajnath Singh also briefed Prime Minster Narendra Modi about the incident.
Soon after Gen Rawat’s death was confirmed by the IAF, the Defence Minister posted: “Deeply Anguished by the sudden loss of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today, Tamil Nadu.His untimely passing is a devastating loss for our Armed Forces as well as the country.
He is likely to make a statement before Parliament on Thursday.
Gen Rawat visited the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri, to address the students and faculty.
General Rawat and his wife, seven staff members, boarded a flight from Delhi to the Sulur IAF Base near Coimbatore at 8.47 am.They landed in Sulur at 11.34 am.and boarded the Mi17V5 helicopter around 11:48.Air Traffic Control (ATC), which lost contact with the helicopter at 12.22 pm, crashed in a forest about 7 km from Coonoor.
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