Indonesian military chopper crash injures nine

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An Indonesian army helicopter carrying construction workers to build a military outpost crashed in the jungles of Borneo on Saturday as it came in to land, injuring nine people, an official said.

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There were no immediate reports of fatalities after the aircraft carrying eight crew, 13 construction workers, and materials weighing 500 kilograms went down in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

“There was engine trouble and the helicopter lost power,” military spokesman Iskandar Sitompul told Agence France-Presse.

“It fell with a thump this morning and a fire started.”

He said seven construction workers, all civilians, and two crewmembers suffered burn injuries when the Russian-made, Mi-17 aircraft crashed.

Information was still trickling in from the remote location of the accident, he said.

The military was transporting the workers and materials to Malinau district, North Kalimantan province, to build a new military outpost by the border with Malaysia, he added.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, relies heavily on air transport but has one of Asia’s worst aviation safety records.

In April, a plane carrying more than 100 passengers missed the runway as it came in to land on the resort island of Bali, and split in two as it smashed into the sea.

Dozens were injured but there were no fatalities. AFP

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