India’s top military chief, 12 others killed in helicopter crash

Indian army chief Bipin Rawat inspects the army Day parade in New Delhi on January 15, 2018. The Indian army celebrated the 70th anniversary of the formation of its national army with soldiers from various regiments and artillery taking part in a parade. / AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat inspects the army Day parade in New Delhi on January 15, 2018. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:40 PM PT – Wednesday, December 8, 2021

India’s Air Force confirmed the deaths of the country’s top military commander and 12 others following a helicopter crash.

Officials said Gen. Bipin Rawat and 12 others, including his wife, were killed on Wednesday when the aircraft went down while in route to a military college. One person survived the crash and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Investigators are now trying to determine the cause of the wreck as the reason for the crash was not immediately known.

Rawat was India’s most senior military official and the country’s first chief of defense staff. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences, adding Rawat was an outstanding soldier who greatly contributed to modernizing India’s armed forces.

“A true patriot, he greatly contributed to be modernizing our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptions,” wrote Modi on Twitter. “His passing away has saddened me deeply.”

TOPSHOT - Firemen and rescue workers stand next to the debris of an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crash site in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, on December 8, 2021. - A helicopter carrying India's defence chief General Bipin Rawat crashed, the air force said, with a government minister at the scene saying at least seven people were dead. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Firemen and rescue workers stand next to the debris of an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crash site in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, on December 8, 2021. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

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