After the death of CDS Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others in an IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter crash on Wednesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday addressed the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha over the crash.
"With profound grief and heavy heart, I stand to convey the unfortunate news of the crash of the military helicopter in the noon of 8 December 2021, with India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat onboard: Raksha Mantri," Singh said.
The black box of the chopper was recovered on Thursday morning.
The chopper crashed with 14 people after having taken off from Sulur in Nilgiris, while it was heading to Wellington base
The IAF said that an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident
Visuals from the site of the helicopter crash showed massive flames and locals helping with the immediate rescue operations
The mortal remains of CDS Rawat and his wife are expected to arrive in the National Capital in a military plane by Thursday evening
Their funeral will take place on Friday
The sole survivor of the crash is Group Captain Varun Singh, Directing Staff at the Defence Services Staff College, who is in critical condition
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CDS to be Cremated With Full Military Honours
The defence minister further said that a tri-Service enquiry regarding the incident has been ordered by Indian Air Force, headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.
The mortal remains of those killed in helicopter crash will be brought to Delhi on Thursday evening, Singh said.
The Chief of Defence Staff will be cremated with full military honours, he added.
"I, on behalf of the august House, pay homage to the deceased persons and express condolences to the bereaved families," Singh said, concluding his statement.
LS Observes 2-Minute Silence Over Deaths in IAF Chopper Crash
The Lok Sabha on Thursday observed two-minute silence over the demise of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and other personnel in the chopper crash.