KARACHI – Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza and all services chiefs have expressed condolence on the tragic death of India’s chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash earlier in the day.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi have condoled the death of Rawat, his wife and 11 others in the incident.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Air Force confirmed the death of country’s chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” IAF wrote on Twitter.
However, Directing Staff at DSSC Gp Captain Varun Singh SC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington
Gen Bipini was going to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington where he was scheduled to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course.
The incident happened around noon when an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident.
Indian news agency ANI shared visuals from the crash site on Twitter, showing the wreckage of the helicopter.
The air force said an inquiry has been launched into the accident.
The Mi-17 helicopter, which inducted in the 1970s and is used by defence services widely around the world, has been involved in a number of accidents over the years.
General Bipin Rawat is the highest-serving military official in the Indian army. He was appointed to the newly created post of CDS, a day before his retirement as the Indian army chief on December 31, 2019.