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India Prays For Miracle; 13 Of 14 People On CDS Rawat’s IAF Copter Feared Dead; No Official Statement Yet

Coimbatore: The country was left hoping for a miracle after a horrific helicopter crash involving Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat on Wednesday afternoon.

Television channels including NDTV, Times Now and India Today reported that 13 of the 14 people on board the IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter have lost their lives.

Gen Rawat apart, his wife Madhulika and at least eight of his staff were travelling in the helicopter when it crashed near the Nilgiris, near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

A few bodies were rescued from the crash site, while some succumbed later after being shifted to the hospital with 80-85% heavy burn injuries.

According to a report, an official announcement from the Army or Defence minister Rajnath Singh will only be made after identification of the heavily charred bodies is completed.

The Defence Minister briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the terrible tragedy and later visited Gen Rawat’s Delhi residence.

Rajnath Singh may make a statement on the floor of Parliament on Thursday.

Maj Rawat, India’s first CDS, was travelling from Sulur Airbase to Wellington where he was to deliver a lecture.

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