CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin headed for Coimbatore on Wednesday, en route to Coonnor, to inspect the accident scene of an Indian Air Force chopper carrying the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and others. He will fly to Coimbatore, then drive to Coonoor, and is expected to arrive at the site of the helicopter crash by evening.
General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 12 other officers and personnel were aboard an Indian Air Force M17 helicopter that crashed near Ooty in Coonoor.
When the chopper crashed, it was on its way from Sulur Air Force Base to the Defense Services College (DSC) in Wellington. According to current information, the chopper took off from Sulur at 11:47 a.m. and crashed around 12:20 p.m. By 12.10 p.m., the chopper had arrived in Wellington but was unable to land and was returning to Sulur, where it crashed.
K. Ramachandran, the Tamil Nadu Forests Minister, who has arrived on the scene, told IANS: "I've come to supervise the rescue operations on the orders of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. The chopper carried 14 personnel, but the Air Force has not provided any other information. According to the Air Force, the crash was caused by a thick mist that covered the region."