The footage of a helicopter soaring over the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu and vanishing into the mist has surfaced following the country’s most powerful general Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat was killed, along with 12 others in an accident on Wednesday.
The video, which was tweeted by the news agency ANI and obtained from locals, shows the final seconds of Indian Air Force Mi 17 V5 helicopter before it crashed into the mountains on Sunday afternoon.
The Air Force has not commented on the veracity of the footage.
#WATCH | Final moments of Mi-17 chopper carrying CDS Bipin Rawat and 13 others before it crashed near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu yesterday
(Video Source: Locals present near accident spot) pic.twitter.com/jzdf0lGU5L
— ANI (@ANI) December 9, 2021
The chopper seen in the video can be heard moving over hills at the time an abrupt change in sound stops the witness for a short time.
The helicopter is not visible when people are looking in the general direction. One person is said to be asking “What happened? Did it fall or crash?” Another voice responds: “Yes”.
General Rawat and his spouse Madhulika Rawat and 11 other people were killed when the chopper was destroyed while en route to Wellington at the Sulur Air Force Base in Coimbatore.
Only one survivor remains, group captain Varun Singh who is currently being treated for severe burns in an army hospital located in Wellington.
The chopper was launched at 11:48 am, was heading down and was expected to land in 10 minutes. The chopper was reported missing about 12:22 after 12:22 pm.
General Rawat was heading for General Rawat was heading to Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) to speak to students and faculty.
The chopper crashed around 10 kilometers from the closest main road, which forced emergency personnel to walk to the site of the crash.
An eyewitness who was quoted by the news agency AFP claimed to have seen people falling off the helicopter prior to the crash and one person had crawled away into the rubble.
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary toured the site of the crash today as the investigation began into the cause of the crash.