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Rajnath Singh makes statement in both houses of Parliament on Mi 17 V5 chopper crash

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said, a tri-service enquiry regarding the chopper crash has been ordered by Indian Air Force headed by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh.

Giving a statement in both the Houses of Parliament, Mr Singh said, all efforts are being made to save the life of the lone survivor Group Captain Varun Singh, who is on life support in the Military Hospital at Wellington.

The Defence Minister said India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat would be cremated with full military honours.

Mr Singh said, the Air Force MI17-V5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11.48 AM yesterday and was expected to land at Wellington by 12.15 P.M.

He informed the houses that Air Traffic Control at Sulur Air Base lost contact with the helicopter at approximately 12.08 P.M. Subsequently, few locals spotted a fire in the forest near Coonoor and rushed to the spot where they observed the wreckage of a military helicopter engulfed in flame.

The Minister informed that rescue teams from the local administration in the vicinity reached the site and attempted to recover the survivors from the crash site.

The Defence Minister said General Bipin Rawat was on a scheduled visit to Defence Services Staff College, Wellington to interact with the student officers. The Minister said, apart from CDS, the dead include the spouse of the CDS, Ms Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brig.

Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff officer Lt. Col. Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed forces personnel including the Air Force Helicopter crew. Their names are Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron leader Kuldeep Singh, Junior Warrant Officer Rana Pratap Das, Junior Warrant officer Arakkal Pradeep, Havilar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursewak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B. Sai Teja.

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