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Four Officers Killed in Helicopter Crash

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Soldiers use a crane to lift an aft section of a helicopter retrieved from a pond following its crash in Prey Sar village at the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, July 14, 2014. The chopper went down about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Phnom Penh on Monday, sinking in a muddy pond surrounded by rural land and rice fields. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Soldiers use a crane to lift an aft section of a helicopter retrieved from a pond following its crash in Prey Sar village at the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, July 14, 2014. The chopper went down about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Phnom Penh on Monday, sinking in a muddy pond surrounded by rural land and rice fields. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A military helicopter crashed outside Phnom Penh Monday morning, killing four officers and seriously injuring a fifth.

The cause of the crash is not known.

The Z-9 helicopter crashed into a muddy pond around 9 am Monday in a rural area 12 miles south of the capital.

A witness told the Associated Press that as the low-flying helicopter hit the pond, one rotor blade hit the bank and a man jumped out into the murky water. The witness then heard what sounded like an explosion from the helicopter, which sank.

Among those killed was Uk Ponnaha, the commander of the military’s helicopter unit, and Ieng Vanrith, director of its helicopter flight school, along with two pilots, Yin Sokha, deputy commander of the Air Force, told reporters near the crash site Monday.

“I cannot confirm why the helicopter crashed,” he said.

Rescue teams had pulled two bodies from the pond by Monday evening and were searching for the other two.

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