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Thai army grounds helicopters after third crash near Burmese border


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Bad weather has been ruled out as the cause of a third Thai army helicopter crash near the Burma border on Sunday, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Thai army has grounded its helicopter fleet following a third crash that killed three people. Photo: AFPThe Bell 212 helicopter was on a mission to pick up the bodies of nine people killed in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter on Tuesday, the paper reported.

The Bell helicopter crashed in the morning killing three people on board. The crash killed the first and second pilot and first mechanic. The second mechanic was seriously injured.

After three crashes, the Thai army has grounded its helicopter fleet and a thorough check will be conducted to assess whether they are safe to fly, according to the paper. The Thai army has ruled out bad weather as the cause of the accident.

The Black Hawk crashed in a forest on the Burmese side of the border opposite the Kaeng Krachan National Park during an operation to retrieve the bodies of five soldiers who had died in an earlier air crash involving a Huey helicopter. The crash was attributed to bad weather.

The Black Hawk was found near the site of Burmese Battalion 101 near Myeik, one mile from the Thai-Burma border, according to Thai Rath, a Thai newspaper.

Royal Thai Army aviation commander Maj Gen Pitaya Krajangwong told the Bangkok Post that the latest crash appeared to be caused by problems with the tail rotor.
Last Updated ( Monday, 25 July 2011 14:21 )  

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