‘He asked for water’: Eyewitness claims he saw Bipin Rawat alive moments after chopper crash

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A screengrab of the video taken near the spot.

Tamil Nadu: Following the chopper crash that killed General Bipin Rawat and 12 others on Wednesday in Tamil Nadu, an eyewitness claims that he saw the Rawat alive moments after the wreckage was found in the hills, NDTV reported.

Quoting the eyewitnesses Shiv Kumar, a contractor, who was visiting his brother – he works in a tea estate – when the helicopter crashed yesterday afternoon near Coonoor in the Nilgiris, the report said he saw the chopper bursting into flames and falling.

“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 was quoted by NDTV as saying.

He says three hours later, someone told him the man he spoke to was General Bipin Rawat, and showed him a photo of the Indian Chief of Defence Staff.

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

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

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

The Mi17 V5 helicopter took off from Sulur Air Base at 11:48 am on Wednesday and was expected to land at Wellington by 12:15 pm. But the chopper went off the radar around 12.08 pm.

The black box has been recovered and could help investigators understand why the helicopter crashed.


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