Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat was also on board the chopper, but his condition is not immediately known.

Army helicopter crashes in Tamil Nadu
news Crash Wednesday, December 08, 2021 - 13:29

An Defence helicopter crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor in Nilgiris district on Wednesday, December 8. Reports say top defence officials were on board the chopper which crashed near a training camp in Coonoor. According to initial reports, four people have been killed in the crash and their bodies have been retrieved. Three others have been seriously injured.

Around 14 people are believed to have been on the chopper — nine passengers and five crew members — and the crash happened in Katteri area in Nilgiris. Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat was also on board the chopper, but his condition is not immediately known. ANI reports that CDS Bipin Rawat, his staff and some family members were in the Mi-series chopper that crashed between Coimbatore and Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

The Indian Air Force tweeted, "An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident." The crash took place on the ghat road from Mettupalayam to Coonoor, reports say. Those injured have been taken to Coonoor General Hospital around 6 to 7 kilometres away from the accident spot. 

Army and police officials have rushed to the spot to carry out rescue operations. Around three people who sustained serious injuries were rescued from the chopper and rushed to hospital for treatment. ANI reported that local military officers have reached the location and were told that local residents have taken two bodies with 80 per cent burns to a local hospital. Few bodies can be seen downhill in the area of the accident. Efforts are on to retrieve the bodies and check identities.

The chopper had taken off from Sulur Air Base in Coimbatore and was on its way to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, in the Nilgiris and the crash took place enroute. The cause of the crash is not known. The identity of those who have been killed in the crash has not been revealed. The mishap happened amid heavy mist and visuals showed the helicopter in flames.

This is a developing story. More details awaited. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.