|The Russian-made MI-171 military helicopter with 21 people on board on a parachute training mission lost contact and crashed in Hoa Lac village, Binh Yen commune, Thach That district in Ha Noi. The accident occured at 7:46 am, just 16 minutes after it took off from Hoa Lac Airport. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Eighteen people died and three were seriously injured when a helicopter crashed yesterday morning in Hoa Lac Village, Binh Yen Commune, in Ha Noi's Thach That District.
The village is about three kilometres from Hoa Lac Airport.
The Russian-made Mi171 helicopter belonged to the Helicopter Regiment 916, Service Air's Division 371, under the Air Defence-Air Force Service.
It took off from Hoa Lac Airport at around 7.46am for a parachute training exercise, but lost contact with air-traffic control shortly after.
Chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Nguyen The Thao yesterday sent an official letter asking the High Command of Capital and the city's Department of Health to closely co-operate with relevant State agencies in offering support to the deceased military officers' families.
The Ministry of Health has asked the Ha Noi Department of Health to assign top doctors to treat the injured.
The department was also asked to keep the Ministry of Health updated on the condition of the patients.
Three injured soldiers are lying in a coma in the institute's intensive care unit and are being treated for multiple injuries and burns which cover between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of their bodies.
Colonel Nguyen Gia Tien, director of the institute, told the Vnexpress online newspaper that the doctors at the institute and the Military Hospital 103 made every effort to save the lives of the soldiers.
According to the institute, the patients were unconscious and still in a critical condition.
Yesterday afternoon, President Truong Tan Sang visited military officers at the National Institute of Burns seriously injured in the helicopter cras.
Sang asked doctors to make every effort to save the lives of those injured.— VNS