NEW DELHI. A helicopter carrying a senior Indian military representative crashed in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, officials said.
According to local media reports, 14 people were on board, including relatives of the official, General Bipin Rawat. The number of wounded and survivors, as well as the condition of General Rawat, were not clear.
An official at the crash site said rescuers managed to rescue one passenger who was taken to a nearby hospital.
The video shows debris on a forest slope, and rescuers tried to extinguish the flames.
The Indian Air Force, in a brief statement, confirmed that General Rawat was in flight when he crashed near Kunoor, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, around noon local time, and said an investigation would be conducted to determine the cause of the accident.
General Rawat, 63, a former army commander, was promoted to the newly created Chief of Defense Staff in January 2019. His career has included leadership positions in the restive northeast of the country, as well as participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions overseas.
As the coordinator of the various wings of the Indian Armed Forces and the main adviser to the government on military uniforms, General Rawat had the task of rebuilding and optimizing the Indian military, which was struggling to modernize. Recent clashes with Pakistan and China have raised concerns over the state of India’s military hardware in the face of a bilateral threat on its borders.