BANGKOK » A third Thai military helicopter has crashed near the country’s forested border with Myanmar in just over a week, killing three soldiers Sunday and bringing the toll from all three accidents to 17.
Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Thanathit Sawang told The Associated Press that the Bell 212 chopper went down during a mission to retrieve bodies from an earlier crash on Tuesday.
Weather conditions were normal at the time, and initial indications were that an instrument in the chopper’s tail which controlled aircraft movement malfunctioned, Thanathit said.
Two military pilots and two mechanics were on board, he said, and one survived.
Thai television stations broadcast images of the smoking helicopter in flames and reported that villagers took the survivor to a hospital in Kaeng Krachan district, where a densely forested national park is located.
Two other Thai military helicopters crashed in bad weather the same over the last eight days.
The first crash, of a Huey chopper on July 16, killed five troops. Then on Tuesday, a Black Hawk helicopter sent to retrieve bodies went down in the same remote area, killing eight soldiers and one television cameraman.