THREE air force soldiers, including a pilot, were killed while another was injured after a military helicopter they were using in rescue operations crashed a few meters in a military camp in Tanay, Rizal Thursday.
Military reports said the tragedy occurred at 3 p.m. when the UH-Id helicopter carrying them encountered engine trouble while on a landing approach inside the headquarters of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Divisiion in Sitio Hilltop, Barangay Sampaloc, Camp Capinpin in Tanay.
The identities of the three fatalities and the injured airman were not disclosed pending notification of the victims’ next of kin.
The helicopter was reported to have gone on a practical exercise involving disaster response and was at about 200 meters towards Camp Capinpin when the freak accident occurred.
Military authorities are looking into what might have caused the crash.
The three were part of an air-to-ground and disaster rescue operation training involving 60 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division and 12 policemen from Calabarzon in Region-4 with Camp Capinpin as venue.
The training, according to the reports, was in preparation for the 2nd ID and PNP response in times of emergencies.
Air Force authorities were expected to ground the entire fleet of UH-1D pending the results of the investigation.
The government has acquired seven UH-1D refurbished Vietnam vintage helicopters from the United States in July 2015.
Barely four months in operations, one of the newly-acquired UH-1D, while on a rescue mission, crash-landed in Malapatan in Sarangani province, injuring nine personnel, including its pilots, crew and soldiers.