IAF Chopper Crash | Tri-Service Inquiry Likely To Be Completed In 2 Weeks: Govt Sources


New Delhi: The tri-service inquiry set up by the Defense Ministry into the unfortunate crash of an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper leading to 14 deaths, including Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife, is likely to be completed in a span of two weeks, news agency ANI reported citing government sources.

According to the report, the investigation is being headed by IAF officer and country’s best chopper pilot Air Marshal Manvendra Singh and one-each Brigadier-rank officer from Indian Army and the Indian Navy.

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“The statements of the witness are being recorded by the inquiry team which includes people on the ground near the crash site in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district. The team is expected to complete its proceedings in the next two weeks,” top government sources told ANI.

The investigation to find out the exact reason behind the helicopter crash near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor district started a day after the accident. The tri-service inquiry was ordered by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh who is personally monitoring the process and is being updated regularly by the officers concerned.

According to reports, Singh has deployed drones over the crash site at the Kattari park area near Coonoor in Nilgiris to unearth the weather conditions and the reason for the crash.

With the flight data recorder already recovered, the team will be conducting a detailed technical evaluation on the same and provide a report to the Defense Ministry.

IAF Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhari is also closely monitoring the proceedings. While speaking about the appointed out new CDS, a senior Defense Ministry functionary said that the process has already begun and the name would be announced soon.

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On December 8, an IAF helicopter with 14 persons on board, including General Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat, took off from Sulur air base and crashed minutes before it was supposed to land at Coonoor.

Group Captain Varun Singh, the Directing Staff at the Defense Services Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, was the lone survivor of the ill-fated chopper who passed away on December 15.

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