Ukraine Mi-8 helicopter crashes in Rivne, killing 4 service members

An army helicopter has crashed in western Ukraine killing four servicemen, the military said on Thursday, May 30.

The Mi-8 helicopter crashed in the western Rivne region during a training flight late Wednesday, killing three crew members and the commander of the 16th Separate Army Aviation Brigade of Ground Forces, a statement said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences and tasked newly-appointed general staff chief Ruslan Khomchak with overseeing the investigation.

“Our army should not be losing people during games and drills,” the 41-year-old president was quoted as saying by his office.

Ukraine inducted four refurbished helicopters back into service in December.

A Soviet-era workhorse first built in the 1960s, the Mi-8 helicopter is widely used to transport passengers and supplies to remote sites.

It has been involved in a number of recent accidents. In August last year, 18 people were killed in a crash in Siberia.

In March, a Kazakhstan Mi-8 helicopter crashed in Kyzylorda Oblast, killing all 13 service members on board. A month earlier, three crew members were killed when an Ethiopian Mi-8 crashed inside a United Nations compound in the disputed region between Sudan and South Sudan.

With reporting from AFP

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