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India’s Chief of Defence Staff, wife, 12 others, killed in helicopter crash



India’s Chief of Defense Staff, Bipin Rawat, alongside his wife, Madhulika Rawat, and 12 other passengers have been killed in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash on Wednesday.

The IAF, in a statement confirming the crash, said only one person survived the crash.

The helicopter, which had a crew of four, crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu state while en route from Sulur to the town of Wellington in Tamil Nadu, the IAF said.

The sole survivor, Group Capt. Varun Singh, is being treated for his injuries at the Military Hospital in Wellington, the IAF report said.

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Though the cause of the crash and details of the other passengers are not yet known, the IAF said “an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”

Rawat was appointed India’s Chief of Defense Staff in December 2019. Prior to that, he was the Chief of Army Staff.

During a career spanning more than 40 years, Rawat commanded several battalions for the Indian army and was a recipient of several awards for his service.

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