(Al Jazeera) – Military helicopter crashes in Tamil Nadu state, killing at least 13 people including defence chief General Bipin Rawat.
India’s defence chief General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other people were killed after a military helicopter they were travelling in crashed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has said.
The IAF said in a Twitter post the “tragic accident” took place near the town of Coonoor at noon on Wednesday. The helicopter was on its way from an Air Force base to the Defence Services Staff College when it crashed.
Authorities said they have opened an investigation.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi said that General Rawat was an “outstanding soldier” and a “true patriot” who greatly contributed to modernising the country’s armed forces and security apparatus.
“His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptional. His passing away has saddened me deeply,” Modi said.