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In a major loss to India, the country’s first and current Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has been killed in an army chopper crash. The Mi-series chopper was carrying General Rawat's staff and family members when it crashed near Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on Wednesday.

According to reports, 14 passengers were on board the aircraft, including Bipin Rawat, his wife, the Defence Assistant, security commandos, and IAF pilots. Reportedly, the chopper was heading to the Wellington defence establishment.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh announced the news on Twitter and extended his condolences to the families of those deceased in the crash. The union minister also grieved the death of the other 13 on board, including Rawat’s wife.

"Deeply anguished by the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other Armed Forces personnel in an extremely unfortunate helicopter accident today in Tamil Nadu," said Rajnath Singh.

"His untimely death is an irreparable loss to our Armed Forces and the country."

"General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence. As the first Chief of Defence Staff he had prepared plans for jointness of our Armed Forces," the union minister tweeted.

"My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this accident. Praying for the speedy recovery of Gp Capt Varun Singh, who is currently under treatment at the Military Hospital, Wellington," said Mr Singh on the social media platform. 

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