Vietnamese Army Helicopter Crash Kills 16

A handout photo provided by Vnexpress.net shows a Vietnamese army helicopter that crashed near a military airport on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam, 07 July 2014.

By Pham Bac (DPA)

HANOI (DPA) — Sixteen people were killed and five seriously injured when a Vietnamese army helicopter crashed near a military airport on the outskirts of Hanoi early Monday, a senior military official said.

The Russian-made MI-171 helicopter carrying 21 people crashed during a parachute training exercise around 8 am (0100 GMT) in Thach That district, Deputy Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Chief of Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, told dpa.

A doctor at Military 105 hospital said many of the injured were in critical condition with serious burns.

Those on board consisted of 16 parachute recruits, two trainers and three helicopter crew members.

One witness told Tuoi Tre newspaper she saw the helicopter flying overhead in an erratic manner before it crashed and exploded.

The explosion caused a fire, making it difficult for rescue workers to access the area, according to a local government official.