India gives ‘honour’ to six killed in helicopter crash

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Six Indians killed by crashes of foreign military helicopters in the past year to be honoured with military honours

The Indian government has announced military honours for six people who were killed in a helicopter crash, the latest in a string of crashes in recent years involving foreign military helicopters in the country.

Three US military personnel, two military police officers and a survivor of the crash were killed in the December accident on a training mission in the Goa state on India’s west coast.

A Delhi cabinet minister said India had “followed international practice” in honouring the crash victims, whose bodies were flown to India for burial.

“Six nations (France, Russia, Italy, the US, India and UK) have followed international practice in putting their soldiers for the funeral. We have followed it,” Amarinder Singh, the chief minister of Punjab state and the regional representative of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party, said in a tweet.

Earlier this month, the US embassy in New Delhi said six US navy personnel had been killed when their helicopter went down in the Bay of Bengal.

That accident took place just days after a Russian helicopter crashed into a reservoir during a training mission on the outskirts of India’s capital, killing all four people on board.

In June, a US Marine Corps helicopter crashed into the Bay of Bengal, killing six sailors.

And in January 2017, a Russian Mi-8 helicopter in which a British politician and his son were travelling crashed into the sea off the coast of western India.

India has blamed faulty pilot training and poor maintenance for the crashes. The country suffers frequent commercial aviation accidents, including more than 800 last year, according to the latest available figures.

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