Thai army helicopters grounded after third crash

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The Independent Online

Thailand's army has suspended flights of its 20 Bell-212 helicopters after three fatal crashes in nine days.

Army Spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said today the helicopters were ordered to be grounded so they could be examined after rotor failure was suspected as the cause of the latest crash yesterday that killed three soldiers and injured one.

Two other Thai military helicopters have crashed in bad weather in just over a week.

The first crash of a Huey chopper on July 16 killed five troops. On Tuesday, a Black Hawk helicopter sent to retrieve the bodies went down, killing eight soldiers and one television cameraman.