Mil Mi-17 helicopter belonging to the state-run Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited has crashed in India's remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Helicopter was carrying 18 passengers and five crew members of whom only six passengers, including the pilot and the co-pilot were able to survive the crash.
Mil Mi-17 helicopter was approaching Tawang, when it caught fire and crashed killing 17 passengers at around 2 p.m. Pawan Hans operates helicopter flights between cities of the Arunachal Pradesh and neighboring state of Assam.
In February last year, Indian army’s helicopter crashed resulting in the death of its pilot and the co-pilot. In August, a crew member of a Mi-7 helicopter fell out while trying to close a door which had opened during flight and in November, IAF helicopter crashed resulting in the death of 12 passengers on board.
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limit operates a large fleet of Dauphin SA-365, Bell 206, Bell 407, AS 350 B3 and two Mil Mi-172 helicopters.