India’s top military commander, General Bipin Rawat, was among 13 people killed when a military helicopter crashed in the northern Indian state of Haryana on Tuesday, according to the Indian Ministry of Defence.
The AK 49 Mi-17, which was carrying the Army chief of staff and 12 others, crashed on its way back from the town of Ambala, according to India’s defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
“The cause of accident is not yet known,” she added.
It was the second accident involving the Mi-17 in two weeks. Ten Indian Army helicopter crew members died after their Mi-17 went down in a forest area in northern India on Jan. 19.
The Mi-17 has served as the official chopper of the Indian military since it was introduced in 2008, although it has been heavily modified to suit India’s needs. The aircraft is often used for transporting soldiers and other government officials.
Rawat, who had been promoted to his post in October, had been the Indian Army’s ground forces commander and was heading a special force, which was developing and promoting its forces in remote areas, according to Reuters.