Written by By Staff Writer
A Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopter crashed during an air show in India, killing 13 air force officials and leaving eight others injured, Indian authorities have said.
The Army, Air Force and Air India separately organized the air show at Agra International Airshow in northern India.
The Mi-17 helicopter went down just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was due to inaugurate it.
No signs of explosion were found inside the Russian-built helicopter, said Dinesh Lokhande, deputy director general of India’s Airports Authority of India, the newspaper Hindustan Times reported.
“The helicopter was on its way to an auditorium from the exhibition venue,” said Lokhande.
“There was no sign of fire or explosion either on the aircraft or in the airfield.”
Eleven of the air force officials aboard the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the Air Force. One person died en route to a hospital.
Five more people died at the Emergency Response Medical Services hospital in Agra, 60 miles north of the crash site.
Modi said he would visit the injured on Friday.
Indian president and prime minister have ordered an inquiry into the incident.
National Leader of the opposition, Congress party, A.K. Antony, said the Chief of Air Staff General B.S. Dhanoa was among those killed in the crash.
The accident involving a Mi-17 has happened at least three times before in India.
This incident comes just weeks after a Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter belonging to the Indian Navy crashed during an exercise off the Kerala coast.
The India Meteorological Department this month released an early warning of a snow storm to India’s northern plains, according to reports in the Indian media.