Four killed in Vietnam military helicopter crash: Army

HANOI (AFP) - Four people were killed on Wednesday when a Vietnamese military helicopter crashed minutes after it set off from southern Ho Chi Minh City, an army official told AFP.

The UH-1 helicopter - known as a Huey - lost contact just eight minutes after departing from Tan Son Nhat international airport early on Wednesday, army deputy commander Lieutenant-General Vo Van Tuan told AFP.

"All the four crew members onboard were killed. We are checking the reason for the crash," Lt-Gen Tuan said.

An online report by the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said the crash happened in Binh Chanh district outside the city formerly known as Saigon.

Vietnam's civilian aviation sector generally has a decent safety record, but there have been a number of incidents in recent years involving military aircraft.

In July last year, 19 people were killed and two others were injured when a Russian-made Mi-171 chopper crashed in the capital Hanoi during a training exercise.

In 2008 five Vietnamese military pilots were killed when their twin-engine light transport aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Hanoi.

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