Injured officers airlifted from helicopter crash site
published : 26 Aug 2016 at 16:15
updated: 26 Aug 2016 at 16:35
writer: Ayub Pathan
YALA -- Seven injured police officers were airlifted from a helicopter which made an emergency landing in dense forest in Than To district on Thursday and rushed to hospitals on Friday.
The Bell 212 helicopter No 2223 went down while flying over Sakai canal in tambon Mae Wat of Than To district late on Thursday afternoon. It had earlier departed from Bannang Sata district to deliver supplies to a border patrol police (BPP) base in Balahala forest.
A part of the Bell 212 helicopter No 2223 at the crash site in the forest. (Photo by Maluding Deeto)
On board were three pilots of the Police Aviation Department - Pol Col Jumpol Kruachan, Pol Maj Assakorn Rakdee and Pol Capt Arthit Piroon - and four mechanics - Pol Capt Chainarong Hanthongchai, Pol Capt Thanongsak Prabripu, Pol Lt Jarin Chuaymuang and Pol Lance Corp Jirawut Suk-on.
Pol Maj Gen Itthipol Achariyapradit, the Yala police chief, asked the 445th BPP Company to search the area.
About 8.30pm, Pol Lt Prateep Chuprasert, the 445th BPP leader, reported the helicopter had been found. The pilots had been forced to make an emergency landing in the forest. It was extensively damaged.
Pol Maj Gen Sakhon Thongmunee, deputy chief of the Police Operational Centre for Southern Border Provinces, said four of the seven on board were seriously injured - Pol Maj Assakorn, Pol Capt Arthit, Pol Capt Tanongsak and Pol Lance Corp Jirawut were seriously injured. Pol Col Jumpol, Pol Capt Chainarong and Pol Lt Jarin were also hurt, but not so seriously.
The seven were airlifted from the scene by helicopter.
The most seriously injured were flown to Songkhla Nakarin Hospital in Hat Yai district and the others to Yala Hospital.
The crash was being investigated, although bad weather was initially believed to be the cause.
Pol Maj Gen Sakhon said the accident occurred while the helicopter was returning to the police operations centre after transporting supplies to the 445th BPP company.
Rescuers surround the wreckage of the Bell 212 helicopter which made an emergency landing in a forest in Than To district of Yala. (Photo by Maluding Deeto)