Indian air force helicopter crashes near China border, seven dead


GAUHATI, Oct 6: An Indian air force Mi-17 helicopter crashed Friday in the country’s remote northeast bordering China, killing all seven crew members and passengers, an official said.

The police control room said the crash occurred on a routine flight in mountainous Tawang area in Arunachal Pradesh state.

The wreckage of the helicopter has been sighted and the police and the army teams have rushed to the mountainous area, a defense ministry official said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known. The air force helicopter took off from an army helipad in the area.

The helicopter had both air force and army personnel on board and it was carrying supplies for Indian military posts close to the border with China, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The Indian air force has in recent years suffered a lot of crashes of its MiG fleet of helicopters and aircraft acquired from the former Soviet Union.

The government says the accidents have been caused by both human error and technical defects. AP