7 dead in India military helicopter crash

Oct. 6 (UPI) — Seven Indian military personnel died Friday when their helicopter crashed near the country’s border with China, the New Delhi’s defense ministry said.

The Russian-made Mi-17 V5 helicopter, built for cargo hauling, crashed in Tawang, a border district in the northeastern state of Arunachal.

The army reported that five air force crew members and two army soldiers died while on an air maintenance mission. Among the dead were two high-ranking officers, Wing Commander Vikram Upadhyay and Squadron Leader S. Tiwari.

The helicopter is regarded as one of the most technologically sophisticated military transport helicopters in the world. India ordered 80 from Russia in 2008, and 11 more in 2012 and 2013.

The Indian Air Force ordered an investigation into the crash.

The aging fleet of the country’s aircraft has been blamed for numerous crashes over the past three decades. On July 4, an Advanced Light Helicopter crashed during a flood rescue operation, killing three pilots.

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