12 killed as MI-17 helicopter crashes after explosion

12 killed as MI-17 helicopter crashes after explosion

Armymen conduct rescue operation after the crash of IAF’s Mi-17 helicopter on the outskirts of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday. PTI

All 12 defence personnel, including a lieutenant colonel, onboard an MI-17 Indian Air Force helicopter were killed on Friday after it crashed in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, close to the border with China.

The helicopter, en route to Guwahati from Tawang, went down at 12:05 pm near Bomdir in Tawang, just minutes after it took off.  Three crew members, eight IAF men and the lieutenant colonel were killed in the tragic crash.

This is the ninth air crash recorded by the IAF this year.
The IAF immediately ordered a court of inquiry into the causes for the accident. Though initial reports had suggested that there was an explosion on the helicopter before it crashed, defence sources denied it.

Defence Minister A K Antony expressed profound grief at the loss of lives of defence personnel in the crash. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, too, condoled the deaths.

“The reason for the crash will be ascertained only after the enquiry is completed,” Defence PRO based in Tezpur (Assam) Col Rajesh Kalia said.

All the bodies have been recovered, but the IAF withheld their identity.
IAF sources said the weather was clear and so it was unlikely that the chopper could have encountered any obstruction in visibility.

Of the nine IAF air crashes recorded this year, this is the third helicopter accident.
The first IAF helicopter crash occurred on September 11 when the IAF lost a Cheetah in Jharkhand. The second was reported  earlier this month in which another Cheetah helicopter crash-landed in the Siachen Glacier on November 8.

The IAF had also lost four MiG-27 fighter jets and two MiG-21 variants this year.

Comments (+)