Four US marines hurt in helicopter crash
Four US marines taking part in the Cobra Gold joint military exercises were injured yesterday when their helicopter made a "hard landing" in a mountainous area of Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Phitsanulok.
One marine suffered from severe burns while his female colleague was seen wearing a neck brace as they were transported to a hospital. Two others were also injured while the remaining three aboard the downed chopper were unhurt.
The helicopter, a US Marines CH-46 Sea Knight, lost contact with air-traffic control yesterday morning while on a flight over the national park.
Villagers in Nakhon Thai district alerted the authorities at noon that they saw the helicopter go down and a column of smoke on the mountain.
Initial reports cited by Air Force Commander-in-Chief ACM Prachin Janthong said all were safe and sound.
However, after the helicopter was located and the Third Army Region dispatched a Bell 212 helicopter to the site, it was found that four marines were wounded. They were separately rushed to three hospitals in Phitsanulok.
Thai soldiers and national park officials were to go by foot to the landing site to check the condition of the US chopper.