The helicopter that crashed in Hanoi, leaving 18 dead and 3 seriously injured, reportedly crashed due to a ‘sudden loss of power’, an official has said.
On Friday, Major-General Nguyen Kim Cach of the Air Defense and Air Force Service, told news website Dan Tri that one of the helicopter's two engines experienced the loss of power shortly after take-off.
Because the helicopter had not yet reached altitude and there was not enough time for the second engine to compensate for the power loss, the helicopter went down, he said.
On July 7, the Russian-made MI-171 chopper from Regiment 916 of the 371st Air Force Division took off from Hoa Lac military airport in Hanoi’s Ba Vi District and lost contact with its base 16 minutes later.
The helicopter reportedly made landfall and exploded near Village 11 in Thach Hoa Commune, Thach That District, around 500 meters away from a market and 40 kilometers west of Hanoi.
The accident happened at around 7:30 a.m.
The helicopter with 21 people on board, including three crew members, two trainers, and 16 soldiers, was engaged in a parachuting exercise.
The crash site lies around three kilometers from the airbase.
Sixteen of the soldiers aboard the helicopter were killed instantly; two others succumbed to their injuries later that evening, bringing the total fatalities to 18.
The three surviving soldiers are still being treated for severe burns and other injuries.
The Ministry of National Defense has pledged to make an official announcement on the cause of the crash in the near future.
Thousands of Vietnamese officials, soldiers and residents attended an official funeral held for the 18 dead victims in Hanoi on July 11.