Vietnam War-era helicopter crashes on outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, killing 4 soldiers

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HANOI, Vietnam — An American-built helicopter once used in the Vietnam War crashed Wednesday during a training mission in the Southeast Asian nation, killing all four soldiers aboard, the military said.

Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, army deputy chief of staff, said the Huey chopper disappeared from radar about eight minutes after taking off from an air base in Ho Chi Minh City.

Online Vietnamnet newspaper quoted Col. Le Van Hanh, political commissar of air force division 370, as saying that the pilots reported engine failure and had tried to fly to a farm on the city's outskirts where it crashed.

Tuan said the aircraft had originally belonged to American forces, but it was seized by communist forces after the war ended in 1975.

State media have reported the Vietnamese military took control of about 50 US-made Hueys after the war, and many of them are still in use for military training missions and in search and rescue operations.

In July, a Russian-made helicopter on a training mission crashed near Hanoi, killing 20 people on board. One soldier survived with severe burns.

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