You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Two killed, one injured in Bulgaria military helicopter crash

AFP  |  Sofia 

A Bulgarian helicopter crashed during a training exercise near the southern city of Plovdiv, killing two of the three men onboard, the defence ministry said.

The Soviet-made helicopter yesterday burst into flames after coming down from a height of 50 metres at around 11 pm IST not far from the Krumovo airbase and Plovdiv's civilian airport.

"Two of the crew -- the and the co-pilot were killed in the fall of the helicopter. The third crew member -- the -- was immediately transported to hospital, (he was) conscious," the ministry said in a statement.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known, it added.

The helicopter was Bulgaria's only operational chopper and mainly used for firefighting in difficult terrains.

The accident is the second deadly crash involving a Bulgarian helicopter in the last 12 months.

Last June a Panther-565 of the plunged into the during a military exercise off the coast of Varna, killing the pilot.

A risky manoeuver and bad weather were then cited as causes of the accident but Bulgarian Rumen Radev, a former airforce chief, also blamed insufficient flight hours.

Bulgaria's outdated military equipment, most of which was bought during communism and is Soviet-made, has often caused tensions in the military, with pilots at the country's airbase refusing to fly jets last October over safety concerns.

Public tenders for new equipment have been sidetracked for years. But last Friday approved plans to spend more than 3.2 billion leva (USD 1.9 billion) on new fighter jets and armoured carriers.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 02:20 IST