North Korean helicopter explodes mid-air in training accident

Two confirmed dead in mid-air explosion along the Chinese-North Korean border
June 27th, 2014
9

A North Korean helicopter exploded in mid-air on Tuesday during a training exercise near the North Korea-China border, claiming the lives of two North Korean soldiers.

The training exercise involving paratroopers was being conducted near the North Korean city of Sinuiju when the helicopter exploded, showering the area with debris, according to a witness interviewed by South Korean broadcaster the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS).

“Just before the explosion happened in the air, I saw 3 to 4 parachutists jumping out of the plane. The propeller also fell from the sky. I was scared out of my wits and I was cowering the whole time when the incident happened,” the unnamed witness told KBS.

The search and rescue operation took place close to Wihwa Island along the Yalu River near the Chinese city of Dandong. North Korea reportedly refused help from the Chinese, who offered their assistance with the rescue efforts, although it appears that North Korean civilians took part.

Google Maps: A map of Wiwha Island, the area the incident occurred.

Google Maps: A map of Wiwha Island, the area the incident occurred.

KBS aired images of the search and rescue operation in the area with one shot showing what appears to be a body being pulled from the river into a boat, with subsequent images showing a body covered by a blanket being carried ashore on a stretcher.

Although the footage captured is credited to KBS 1, it is unclear who filmed the rescue efforts. The cause of the explosion remains unknown.

Translation by Hong Won Choi London

Featured Image: Nado Handdenun Blog North Korean helicopter

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About the Author

Hamish Macdonald

Hamish Macdonald is an NK News contributor and has previously worked at The Korea Herald and for the Australia Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney.