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Three injured as military chopper goes down on Vietnam island

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 15:02 GMT+7
Three injured as military chopper goes down on Vietnam island
This military copter broke in half after going down on Phu Quy Island off the south-central province of Binh Thuan on March 26, 2015.

Three of the eight people aboard a military helicopter were injured after the chopper crashed while it was trying to land on Phu Quy Island, off the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan, on Thursday morning.

>> Four soldiers die in military chopper crash in Vietnam

Three of the eight people aboard a military helicopter were injured after the chopper crashed while it was trying to land on Phu Quy Island, off the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan, on Thursday morning. There were three crew members and five passengers on board the Russian-made Mi-8 chopper which was conducting a patrol flight. All of the victims have been taken to a hospital on the island, about 56 nautical miles from Phan Thiet, the provincial capital, for treatment.

The injured include Dong Van Vu, Tran Van Thuong, and Nguyen Xuan Toan, an official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, adding that nobody suffered serious injuries. At 9:30 am this morning, when the Mi-8 copter was circling in an attempt to land at a military airport on the island, it suddenly crashed with the tail breaking and coming off.

The aircraft broke in half when it hit the ground. Many broken parts of the chopper fell down on some houses near the airport and damaged them.  The helicopter, managed by Vietnam’s air force, was conducting an patrol flight from the south-central province of Ninh Thuan to the island, a source told Tuoi Tre.

This image shows the tail of the helicopter that falls on a military airport on Phu Quy Island. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Competent agencies in Binh Thuan have blocked the scene of the accident to investigate its cause. On January 27, 2015, another military helicopter crashed in an outlying district of Ho Chi Minh City after it departed from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, killing four soldiers on board. The UH-1 chopper hit the ground in Pham Van Hai Commune of Binh Chanh District, according to Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army.

The chopper was en route to the southern province of Tay Ninh, 100km from Ho Chi Minh City, when it lost contact with air traffic controllers over the sky of the city’s Cu Chi District. On July 7, 2014, a third military copter dropped in a suburban area of Hanoi, killing 20 soldiers and injuring one.   

A piece of the broken helicopter is seen after the plane hit the ground on Phu Quy Island. Photo: Tuoi Tre

At 7:53 am that day, a Mi 171 helicopter fell in a paddy field in Thach That District on the outskirts of the capital city when dozens of military personnel aboard were doing a parachute training exercise. There were 21 people aboard at the time of the accident, including a flight crew of three members, two parachuting trainers, and 16 parachuting trainees. Witnesses said they heard a small explosion and saw some debris from the chopper before it fell down to the ground and burst into flames. The crash was caused by “a technical problem,” said Lieutenant General Tuan. He added the pilot managed to take the chopper away from nearby residential areas to avoid causing heavier human casualties.

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