Nine Confirmed Dead in Thai Army Chopper Crash

BANGKOK (DPA) — Nine people are confirmed dead in a army helicopter crash in Thailand, officials said Tuesday.

The deputy commander of the third army, Major General Songphol Thongjeen, was among those killed when the helicopter went down in Phayao province 700 kilometres north of Bangkok on Monday, the military statement said.

Investigations were under way, army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said.

The aircraft was a Bell 212 model, news reports said Monday. The Thai army grounded its Bell 212 fleet in 2011 after three crashes of different helicopter models within two weeks left 17 dead.