NEW DELHI (AP) – A military helicopter carrying the country’s army chief crashed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Air Force said.
The Air Force did not indicate whether the Chief of Defense, Bipin Rawat, had been injured in the accident.
Three injured people were taken to a hospital, according to public television station Prasar Bharati.
Television footage showed the helicopter on fire as local residents tried to put out the blaze.
At first there was no confirmation on how many people were traveling on the aircraft. Local news outlets showed a flight document showing the names of nine people as passengers, including Rawat’s wife and other senior Army officials.
The Air Force indicated in a tweet that an investigation into the accident had been ordered.
Rawat is the highest ranking officer in the Indian Army. He is also an advisor to the Ministry of Defense. He assumed the newly created position last year after retiring from his previous position as a military command.
The Mi-17V5 helicopter was flying from an air base towards the defense services training center when it crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.