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IAF Chopper With CDS Gen Rawat On Board Crashes In Nilgiris

2 of 14 on board Mi-17V5 helicopter confirmed dead, 3 rescued

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An Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V5 helicopter with the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on board crashed in the Coonoor district of Tamil Nadu on December 8.

The IAF confirmed the crash early afternoon but was silent so far on the fate of 14 persons reportedly on board.

Preliminary  reports from Coonoor suggest that two persons are confirmed dead while three have been rescued. The three are reported to be seriously injured. Search and rescue operations are on for nine missing persons who were on board the ill-fated flight.

Reports indicate that the helicopter took off from the IAF's Sulur airbase in Coimbatore district and was headed for Wellington in the Nilgiris.

General Rawat, his family and staff members were among the 14 on board.

Several rescue teams have been pressed for search and rescue operations at the crash site. The injured persons have been taken to the Wellington Military Hospital.

The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry into the crash.

"An IAF Mi-17 V5 helicopter, with CDS General Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," the IAF Tweeted while confirming the crash.

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