Indian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” tweeted the IAF.

Reacting to the news, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote: “I am deeply anguished by the helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in which we have lost Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and other personnel of the Armed Forces. They served India with utmost diligence. My thoughts are with the bereaved families.”


13 out of 14 people died. Gp Capt Varun Singh SC, Directing Staff at DSSC with injuries is currently under treatment at Military Hospital, Wellington.

CDS General Bipin Rawat was the highest-serving official in the Indian armed forces, who was appointed to the newly created post of CDS, a day before he was set to retire as the army chief on December 31, 2019. As part of his new assignment, Gen Rawat was heading the new Department of Military Affairs in the Defence Ministry.

In Dec 2015, the Modi government had appointed Gen Rawat as the army chief by superseding two senior officers.

Earlier today, an Indian Army helicopter with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and other senior Indian defence officials on board crashed in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor.