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Three army officers were killed and a junior commissioned officer was critically injured when a Cheetah helicopter crashed while landing at the Sukna military station in West Bengal on Wednesday. The incident took place at 11.30 am, according to a statement released by the Eastern Command Headquarters in Kolkata.
The three officers have been identified as Lt Col Rajneesh Kumar, Major Sanjeev Lathar and Major Arvind Bazala, while the JCO has been identified as Dhamne Yogesh Bhaskar.
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The helicopter was attempting to land at the helipad in Sukhna after a routine sortie when it crashed. A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
The army’s 33 Corps is based at Sukna and all aircraft of the Army are run by Army Aviation Corps. Sources said the Cheetah was to be replaced about a decade ago, but continued to be used due to procurement problems. In March, another Cheetah crashed in Hoshiarpur.
“Saddened at the death of 3 army officers in Sukna due to tragic chopper crash. Words are never enough. My condolences to bereaved families,” tweeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.