A military helicopter crashed in an outlying district of Ho Chi Minh City after it departed from Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Wednesday morning, killing four soldiers on board, an army official has confirmed.
The UH-1 chopper hit the ground in Pham Van Hai Commune of Binh Chanh District, Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, told VnEpress newspaper at 11:00 am today.
Lieutenant General Tuan later confirmed that four soldiers were killed in this accident.
At 12:08 pm, a VnExpress correspondent reported from the scene that the chopper wreckage and corpses were found at the Pham Van Hai plantation in Binh Chanh District.
Lieutenant General Tuan confirmed at 12:22 pm that four soldiers, including a senior lieutenant colonel, on board the chopper were dead.
The names of the deceased have not been disclosed.
Militia members are seen at a site in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, where a military chopper crashed on January 28, 2015.
A fire truck has been deployed to the site.
Huynh Hoai Anh, a local who lives near the crash site, said he did not hear any explosion in the morning.
The chopper was en route to the southern province of Tay Ninh, 100km from Ho Chi Minh City, when it lost contact with air traffic controllers over the sky of the city’s Cu Chi District, according to a source close to VnExpress.
“Eight minutes after takeoff, we lost contact with the aircrew,” the source said.
The chopper had been missing for 150 minutes as of 10:30 am, the source elaborated, adding that four pilots were aboard the helicopter.
It is now unclear how many people were on board the crashed helicopter and any of the dead was one of the reported four pilots.
The chopper is a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, unofficially known as Huey – a military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-bladed main and tail rotors.
It can carry 14 people, including a crew of four at most, and be able to reach a maximum speed of 135 mph (217 km/h).