LUCKNOW, India (AP) — An Indian air force helicopter crashed Friday in northern India, killing all seven people on board, including two pilots, the military said.
The helicopter issued a “May Day'” call soon after taking off and contact was lost with it on radar and radio, an air force statement said. The crash occurred near Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known.
Police officer Rajesh Krishna said the helicopter crashed in a field. The military statement said there was no reported damage on the ground.
Witnesses said a fire engulfed the helicopter as it hit the ground.
India has become the world’s biggest arms importer as it pushes to modernize its military and replace its obsolete Soviet-era weapons.
The purchases were also spurred by crashes of almost 55 percent of its front-line MiG fleet acquired from the former Soviet Union.
The government said the accidents were caused by both human error and technical defects.
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