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Gen Bipin Rawat, highest defence officer, and wife among 13 killed in chopper crash.

The nation’s most senior military officer, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter were killed in a crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu shortly after noon Wednesday.

Group Captain Varun Singh, decorated with the Shaurya Chakra on Independence Day this year, was the lone survivor and was being treated for injuries at the Military Hospital in Wellington.

General Rawat, 63, was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington where he was to deliver a lecture. His wife, president of the Defence Wives Welfare Association, was accompanying him along with members of the CDS staff.

In the morning, they had flown in an Embraer aircraft from Delhi to the Sulur Air Force Station near Coimbatore. At Sulur, they boarded an Mi-17V5 helicopter which crashed at Katteri, near Coonoor, in the Nilgiris shortly after noon.



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