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Three naval personnel killed in chopper crash

Panaji: Three naval personnel, including two officers, were today killed when their Chetak helicopter crashed while landing at Dabolim naval base here.

“All three personnel on board have died in the crash which took place at about 1000 hours. A board of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the causes behind it,” a Navy spokesperson said in Delhi.

The chopper, which was flying from Mumbai to Bangalore, was making a scheduled refuelling halt at ‘INS Hansa’ naval air base here, he said.

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The rotor of the helicopter broke while landing, Navy sources said here, adding that the chopper then caught fire.

Civilian flights from the airport here were likely to be delayed as the chopper had crashed on the runway, they said.

This is the first crash involving a naval helicopter this year. The Navy operates more than 60 of the ageing Chetak and Cheetah helicopters and has been looking for their replacement.

The force has recently issued a tender for procuring 56 twin-engine light utility helicopters from foreign vendors.

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