Indian army pilot killed in copter crash near China border


NEW DELHI: An Indian military helicopter crashed on Wednesday in the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, killing one pilot and injuring another, the army said.

The incident took place in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh close to the border with China.

An army aviation Cheetah helicopter flying in the forward area near Tawang crashed on October 5 during a routine sortie, said a statement by the army.

The two pilots were taken to the nearest military hospital after the crash, the statement said, adding that pilot Lt Col Saurabh Yadav succumbed to his injuries while the co-pilot is under treatment.

The cause of the crash is still unknown, it added.

In December last year, Indian defence chief General Bipin Rawat was among 13 people killed in a helicopter crash, raising questions over the future of military reforms he was leading.

Rawat was India’s first chief of defence staff, a position that the government established in 2019, and was seen as close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The 63-year-old was travelling with his wife and other senior officers in the Russian-made Mi-17 chopper, which crashed near its destination in southern Tamil Nadu