7 Indian military personnel killed in Mi-17 helicopter crash


At least seven Indian Air Force personnel were killed in an Mi-17 helicopter crash near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.

A senior IAF official said that  IAF personnel, including two pilots, and two armymen were killed in the crash near the remote town of Tawang, close to the China border, around 6 AM.

The Russian-manufactured Mi-17 V5, according to a PTI report, helicopter was carrying supplies to a forward post of the Indian Army in the mountainous region.

The official said, “A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.”

Earlier in the day, an IAF official had said five personnel were killed and one person was critically injured.

The crash comes two days ahead of Air Force Day on 8 October, celebrated in a big way by the force.

On on Thursday, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had expressed his concern over the mounting losses of Air Force chopper and military jets particularly during the peace time.

“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 Dhanoa said, referring to a string of crashes of IAF choppers and military jets in recent years.

The Mi-17 V5 is a Russian built medium-lift military transport chopper.

In June 2013, an Mi-17 V-5 helicopter had crashed attempting rescue operations during the Uttarakhand floods. As many as 20 people were killed in that accident.