14 dead in Mongolian helicopter crash

14 dead in Mongolian helicopter crash

14 people died and 8 more were seriously injured after a Russian-made helicopter tackling a forest blaze crashed in a remote part of Mongolia, officials said on Monday.

The chopper was the same model as one that crashed in 2001 killing 9 people, including UN staff and foreign journalists. The MI-8 helicopter, which was battling the blaze in Mongolia's northern Selenge province, had been missing since last Thursday.

The 19 firefighters, along with 3 crew members, were on a mission to tackle the blaze which had been raging since June 7th.

The helicopter crashed into dense forest on a mountain at an altitude of 6,100 feet and was found by 2 rescue helicopters on Saturday, Emergency Minister S. Otgonbayar said.

One crew member and 7 firemen, aged between 20 and 59, survived the crash and arrived in hospital in Ulan Bator on Monday in serious conditions, with head and abdominal injuries, a hospital official said.

Government spokesman B. Batbaatar said the reason for the crash had not been established and an investigation was underway, although he added fog may have been a factor. Source : - SUKHOI


Posted : Monday, 18 June 2007

Photo : [www.xairforces.com]



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