Seven IAF personnel were killed early this morning after an Mi-17 chopper of the Indian Air Force today crashed near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The crash of the Mi-17 V5 took place at around 6 am when it was on a maintenance mission, the official said.
The toll was earlier put at five but by the afternoon, the IAF officials delared, seven personnel on board the chopper have been killed.
“A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the official said.
Rescue teams reached the crash site in Tawang near the Indo-China border soon after the crash reports and admitted the injured personnel to a local hospital.
At least one person from the Army was on board the chopper and two IAF pilots were believed to be among those killed in the crash, official sources said.
The crash comes a day ahead of the Air Force Day which is extensively celebrated by the IAF.
“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 B S Dhanoa had said yesterday, referring to a string of crashes of IAF’s choppers and military jets in recent years.
The Mi-17 V5 is a Russian built medium-lift military transport chopper.
(With inputs from PTI)