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Last respects paid to India’s defence chief

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The our bodies of India’s defence chief and 12 others who died in a helicopter crash laid draped within the Indian flag at a defence cantonment on Thursday, earlier than being flown to New Delhi, the place the overall shall be laid to relaxation with full navy honours.

Normal Bipin Rawat, his spouse and 12 defence personnel had been en path to a navy employees faculty in southern India when the air pressure helicopter they had been travelling in got here down close to the city of Coonoor on Wednesday.

Solely one of many 14 on board survived the crash. The reason for the crash is being investigated.


In a quick assertion in parliament, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated the stays of all of the deceased can be dropped at New Delhi and Rawat can be cremated with full navy honours.

Rawat, 63, was appointed as India’s first chief of defence employees by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities in late 2019. The place was arrange with the goal of integrating the military, navy and air pressure.

Singh stated the Mi-17 V5 helicopter took off at 11.48 a.m. (06:18 GMT) on Wednesday from the Sulur Air Base. The bottom misplaced contact with the plane seven minutes earlier than it was scheduled to land at a hillside navy space at 12.15 p.m.

“Locals noticed a hearth within the forest close to Coonoor and rushed to the spot the place they noticed the wreckage of navy helicopter engulfed in flames,” Singh stated.

At a colonial-era barrack in Wellington, the navy cantonment city the place Rawat and his entourage had been headed, uniformed troopers fastidiously laid out the coffins, within the presence of officers from all three companies of the Indian armed forces.


Navy personnel, veterans, politicians and others then paid their final respects, providing floral wreaths and flowers by the coffins.

At a navy hospital close by, the lone survivor of the crash, an air pressure group captain, lay on life assist.

“All efforts are being made to save lots of his life,” Singh stated.

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