Chopper crash involving CDS Rawat: Tri service enquiry ordered by IAF, says Rajnath Singh
New Delhi/IBNS: A tri service enquiry regarding the Tamil Nadu chopper crash that led to the death of 13 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has been ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
The enquiry will be headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command, said Singh in Parliament.
"The Chief of Defence Staff would be cremated with full military honours. I, on behalf of the august House, pay homage to the deceased persons and express condolences to the bereaved families," the Defence Minister said in his address.
Singh informed that Group Captain Varun Singh, the only survivor, is on life support in the military hospital at Wellington.
"All efforts are being made to save his life," he added.
Rawat, along with his wife and 11 others, including his staff and crew members, died in the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on Wednesday, an incident that left the country mourning.
Highlights of Rajnath Singh's address in Parliament
"With profound grief and heavy heart, I stand to convey the unfortunate news of the crash of the military helicopter in the noon of 8th December 2021, with India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat onboard."
"The Air Force Mi 17 V 5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 AM yesterday and was expected to land at Wellington by 12:15 PM. Air Traffic Control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the helicopter at approximately 12:08 pm."
"Subsequently, few locals spotted a fire in the forest near Coonoor and rushed to the spot where they observed the wreckage of military helicopter engulfed in flames."
Brave hearts who lost their lives in the chopper crash
"All those recovered from the wreckage were rushed to the Military Hospital, Wellington. Latest reports have confirmed that out of the total 14 persons onboard the ill-fated helicopter, 13 have succumbed to their injuries."
"The dead include the spouse of the CDS, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brig Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff Officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed Forces personnel including the Air Force helicopter crew."
"Their names are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant Officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havildar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja."