Army helicopter crashes in southern Thailand
At around 9am this morning, a Blackhawk army helicopter crashed in a rubber plantation in Songkhla province with seven military personnel inside. The commander of the 4th Army Region sustained serious injuries and six others suffered minor injuries in the crash. No casualties were reported.
The Blackhawk took off from Sena Narong Military Camp in Hat Yai district, Songkhla province, at 8.45am and headed towards Sirindhorn Military Camp in Yarang district, Pattani province.
At around 9am, it is suspected that the Blackhawk’s engine malfunctioned as the helicopter approached Thepha district in Songkhla province. The two pilots tried to conduct an emergency landing, but the helicopter crashed into the rubber trees.
Locals residents who witnessed the crash promptly informed the authorities who sent rescue teams and police officers to the scene.
Commander of the 4th Army Region Lt. Gen. Kriangkrai Srirak suffered a broken right hip and internal bleeding from the crash. He was taken to Songkhla Nakarin Hospital in Hat Yai district for treatment. Kriangkrai commands the 4th Army Area, which serves as the frontline command in the South Thailand Insurgency.
Alongside Lt. Gen. Kriangkrai, the helicopter was carrying two mechanics, two pilots, one photographer and one aide-de-camp soldier. All sixon,forinvestigating were taken to Thepha Hospital where they were treated for their minor injuries.
Commander of the 15th Infantry Brigade Maj. Gen. Chalermphon Khamkhiao thanked locals for their role in the incident…
“Commander of the 4th Army Region and six soldiers on board are now under close medical supervision. Everyone is safe. I would like to thank the villagers and rubber farmers in the nearby areas for promptly notifying the authorities of the crash as well as with helping the soldiers on board get out safely.”
The army is conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash, which they expect will take 1 – 2 days.
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