“A loud noise and the helicopter disappeared in the fog”: the man who took the last video of General Rawat’s helicopter | Latest India News
The video which went viral on social media claiming to be the last available footage of the Mi17V5 army helicopter before it crashed, killing 13 people on board, including the chief of staff of the Defense General Bipin Rawat was recorded by a city-based wedding photographer who happened to be near the location at the fateful moment on Wednesday. He was also an eyewitness to the fatal crash which he said could have taken place due to bad weather and poor visibility.
Y Joe aka Kutty is a 52-year-old wedding photographer from Coimbatore who traveled to the Katteri area with his friend Nazar and some family members from Nazar to click photos, PTI reported. Without knowing anything about the fate that awaited the helicopter, Kutty took video of the helicopter which became the last available location of the helicopter which crashed within minutes of taking the video.
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Kutty and his friends walked along mountain railroad tracks clicking photos. Kutty heard the sound of an approaching helicopter. It was visible. Out of curiosity, Kutty took video of the helicopter, which quickly vanished into the fog. Shortly after, there was a loud noise. They tried to reach the hill where the helicopter crashed but were stopped by the police team who arrived at the scene at that time. They later shared the footage with the police official, they told reporters.
Also in the video, the helicopter can be seen before disappearing. According to data from the Ministry of Defense, the helicopter carrying 14 on board took off from Sulur air base at 11:48 a.m. He was due to reach his destination, Wellington Air Force Base, at 12:15 p.m. The Sulur air base control room lost contact with the helicopter at 12:08 p.m., seven minutes before the helicopter reached its destination.
The crash resulted in the deaths of the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawar and 11 other defense personnel, including the helicopter pilot. A tri-service investigation has started into the crash and the black box containing the last location and conversation in the cockpit was recovered on Thursday. According to the information available, there was no emergency call from the helicopter before it crashed.
As the nation mourns the deaths of 12 defense personnel, the situation in which the crash occurred is not yet known. The Indian Air Force has urged people to avoid uninformed speculation about the crash. IAF Group Captain Varun Singh is the sole survivor of the crash fighting for his life at the Air Force Command Hospital in Bengaluru.