NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh issued a statement in both houses of the Parliament in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Further, the Defense Minister briefed the Parliament on the crash of the military chopper yesterday which was carrying Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and 13 other persons.
"Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a tri-service inquiry into the military chopper crash. The investigation will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh. The inquiry team reached Wellington yesterday itself and started the investigation," Rajnath Singh said in Lok Sabha.
"The dead include the spouse of the CDS, Mrs Madhulika Rawat, his Defence Adviser Brig Lakhbinder Singh Lidder, Staff Officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh and nine other Armed Forces personnel including the Air Force helicopter crew," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha.
"Group Captain Varun Singh is on life support in the Military Hospital at Wellington and all efforts are being made to save his life," he said.
"The Chief of Defence Staff would be cremated with full military honours. I, on behalf of the august House, pay homage to the deceased persons and express condolences to the bereaved families," the defence minister said.
Notably, the last rites of CDS General Bipin Rawat will be performed with full military honours.
The last rites of other military personnel will be performed with appropriate military honour.
Defence Minister said that the mortal remains of the deceased will be brought back to Delhi today by an Indian Air Force aircraft.
An Indian Air Force helicopter carrying the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and his entourage crashed on Wednesday near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu in apparently foggy conditions, killing 13 people on board, the IAF and other officials said.
According to accounts of official sources and local eyewitnesses, the helicopter was flying at a low altitude in foggy conditions when it crashed into a valley, before falling through trees. Fire engulfed the helicopter by the time it landed on the ground.
The helicopter carrying Rawat and others had left Sulur IAF station in Coimbatore around 10.30 am on Wednesday and was supposed to land at Defence Staff College in Wellington at Udhagamandalam about an hour later.