IAF's chopper crashes near Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang, 7 personnel killed
Posted: Oct 06, 2017
Seven defence personnel were killed after an Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.
Tawang district Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Meena said the chopper crashed around 6.30 a.m. killing all the seven people on board.
The chopper was on a routine Air Maintenance Mission, Meena quoted a Defence officer as saying.
The crash site is located at some four-to-five hours drive from Tawang. "It is a forested area," Meena said adding that the bodies are being brought to the helipad near Tawang.
"We are told that there were no civilians and all were defence personnel," he said.
Earlier in July an Indian Air Force chopper engaged in a flood rescue mission crashed near Papum Pare district in the hill state killing four persons including three IAF crew and one India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel.
The frequently changing weather condition in Arunachal Pradesh makes flying of choppers difficult in the area and there have been several incidents of crashes in the hill state in the past.
The then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, and four others also died in a chopper crash in the hill state in 2011.
The Mi-17 V5 chopper crashed at around 6 am when it was on an air maintenance mission, a senior IAF official said adding five personnel on board the chopper were killed while one person was critically injured.
"A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," the official said.
At least one person from the Army was on board the chopper and two IAF pilots were believed to be among those killed in the crash, official sources said.
The crash comes a day ahead of the Air Force Day which is extensively celebrated by the IAF.
"Our losses in the peacetime are a cause of concern. We are making concerted efforts to minimise accidents and preserve our assets," Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa had said yesterday, referring to a string of crashes of IAFs choppers and military jets in recent years.
Sources said rescue teams reached the site within hours after the crash and brought the injured person to a local hospital in Tawang.
The Mi-17 V5 is a Russian built medium-lift military transport chopper.
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