India's Defence Chief Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other people were killed after a military helicopter they were travelling in crashed in southern India on Wednesday.
The accident took place around noon near the town of Coonoor, and the victims include four crew members of the Mi-17V5 helicopter, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a tweet.
One person is being treated for injuries.
Rawat, 63, was appointed as India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in late 2019.
With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The crash took place in Coonoor, shortly after the chopper took off from the Air Force base in Sulur.
The IAF had confirmed a little before 12:30 pm that an Mi-17 V5 helicopter with General Rawat on board had "met with an accident near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu".
The Air Force also said it had ordered an Inquiry into what happened.