Gen Rawat was alive in the moments after the crash, claims witness
The Indian Air Force confirmed the death of the Chief of Defence Staff and his wife on Twitter

Gen Rawat was alive in the moments after the crash, claims witness

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was alive in the moments after the helicopter crash in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, that killed him and 12 others, including his wife, Madhulika, according to a witness.

Shiv Kumar, a contractor, was visiting his brother, who works in a tea estate, when the helicopter carrying Rawat crashed on Wednesday afternoon in the Nilgiris.

Kumar told NDTV that he and some other locals saw the Indian Air Force helicopter burst into flames and plummet.

“We saw three bodies fall… one man was alive. He asked for water. We pulled him out in a bedsheet and he was taken away by rescuers,” Kumar told the news channel.

According to Kumar, three hours later someone told him that the man he had spoken with was Rawat, and showed him a photo of the CDS.

“I could not believe that this man did so much for the country… and could not even get water. I could not sleep all night,” Kumar said.

Rawat died on the way to hospital.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament on Thursday that a tri-service inquiry has been set up to investigate the crash.

Rawat, his wife, and 11 others were killed when their helicopter crashed on its way to Wellington from Sulur Air Force Base in Coimbatore.

The only survivor of the crash was Group Captain Varun Singh, who is being treated for severe burns at a military hospital in Wellington. According to Rajnath, he is on life support.

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