Update: 9 killed in army copter crash

Update: 9 killed in army copter crash

PHAYAO — Nine army officers, including the Third Army’s deputy area commander, were killed when their helicopter crashed in Muang district Monday evening.

Deputy army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong confirmed none of the nine people on board the Bell 212 copter survived the crash. The search and rescue operation discovered bodies of all nine at 8.15pm,

Maj Gen Songpon Thongjeen, deputy Third Army Area commander, was on board the chopper that left Khun Chueang Thanmikkarat Camp bound for an army base in Chiang Rai. The copter had been in the air about 10 minutes when controllers lost contact with it, according to deputy army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong.

Villagers found the helicopter downed and engulfed in flames in Ban Jer Bua in tambon Wang Tha Thong, a short distance from the camp.

The other eight killed in the crash were Col Kitti Suwannachareon, Col Yutthapong Puanfoong, Lt Col Wuthisak Soonthornsook, Lt Col Manit Surasaena, first pilot, Capt Worapong (surname not known), second pilot, SM 1 Anant Chomchiangkham, and two mechanics SM2 Sompob Kongmalai and SM1 Apiroon Sandorn.

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