Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat died alongside along with his spouse, Madhulika Rawat, the IAF mentioned by way of Twitter. He had been within the publish for nearly two years.
The helicopter, which had a crew of 4, crashed close to Coonoor in Tamil Nadu state whereas en route from Sulur to the city of Wellington in Tamil Nadu, the IAF mentioned.
The survivor, Group Capt. Varun Singh, is being handled for his accidents on the Military Hospital in Wellington, the IAF mentioned.
The explanation for the crash just isn’t but recognized. The IAF mentioned “an inquiry has been ordered to establish the reason for the accident.”
Rawat was appointed India’s first Chief of Defense Staff in December 2019. Prior to that, he served because the Chief of Army Staff for shut to a few years.
During a profession spanning greater than 40 years, Rawat commanded a number of battalions for the Indian military. He had acquired a number of awards for his service. He was first commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978.
An announcement launched by the Indian Army described Gen. Rawat as “a visionary who initiated far reaching reforms within the Indian navy’s larger protection group” and his spouse as “an epitome of grace whose presence can be missed by everybody.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted of his deep anguish on the information of the 13 deaths.
“They served India with utmost diligence. My ideas are with the bereaved households,” he mentioned. “Gen Bipin Rawat was an excellent soldier. A real patriot, he tremendously contributed to modernising our armed forces and safety equipment. His insights and views on strategic issues had been distinctive. His passing away has saddened me deeply.”
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind additionally provided his condolences to all of the bereaved households and paid tribute to Gen. Rawat’s service.
“The nation has misplaced one among its bravest sons. His 4 many years of selfless service to the motherland was marked by distinctive gallantry and heroism,” he tweeted.
India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane visited Rawat’s residence in New Delhi earlier than his dying was confirmed.
Singh later tweeted to precise his condolences, saying his coronary heart went out to the households of these killed.
“Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his spouse and 11 different Armed Forces personnel in an especially unlucky helicopter accident at the moment in Tamil Nadu. His premature dying is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the nation,” he wrote.
“General Rawat had served the nation with distinctive braveness and diligence. As the primary Chief of Defence Staff he had ready plans for jointness of our Armed Forces.”
Singh mentioned he was praying for a speedy restoration for the officer who survived the crash.
The Indian Army mentioned the 11 navy personnel who had died alongside Gen. Rawat and his spouse would “even be equally missed by everybody.”
CORRECTION: This story has been up to date to appropriate the Indian President’s identify.
CNN’s Swati Gupta and Vedika Sud reported from New Delhi, whereas Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London and Rhea Mogul from Hong Kong.