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    IAF chopper crash: 13 out of 14 on-board dead, CDS Rawat's condition unclear

     


    IAF chopper crash: 13 out of 14 on-board dead, CDS Rawat's condition unclear

    Coonoor, Dec 8: 13 out of the 14 on board the fatal Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter which crashed near Tamil Nadu's Coonoor have died, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.

    The IAF helicopter, with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on board, had crashed reportedly due to low visibility owing to foggy conditions.

    However, there was no immediate information on the condition of Gen Rawat, even as the IAF said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident, involving a Mi-17VH chopper that took off from the Sulur IAF Station in nearby Coimbatore.

    TV visuals showed the badly damaged chopper in flames, possibly under the impact of the crash. Apparently, a major tragedy was averted as the helicopter fell at some distance away from a human habitation, averting possible mass casualties.

    The accident site was a scene of despair with trees being reduced to broken pieces under the impact of the crash, flames from the chopper engulfing the wooden logs resulting in billowing smoke and personnel scurrying to douse the fire, including using buckets and water hose. What seemed to be some charred bodies were also seen lying around.

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