Military helicopter crashes in Israel

September 11th, 2008 - 12:50 am ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, Sep 10 (Xinhua) An Israeli military helicopter crashed during an excecise in northern Israel Wednesday, a military official said.Two crew members, including the pilot, were on board the Cobra helicopter, which came down near the kibbutz Ganigar, in the Yezreel Valley, north of the town of Afula, a spokeswoman for Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.

The helicopter crashed ten minutes after it took off, and IDF is now investigating how this happened, she said, adding that the fate of the two crewmembers was not immediately known.

Earlier, local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the crashed helicopter was on a routine training flight.

Rescue services rushed to the scene, where a huge fire had been caused by the crash, according to the report.

Initial reports indicate the helicopter had been flying alongside a second Cobra, which landed nearby to see what happened to the first after the crash.

The crashed chopper burst into flames and loud explosions were heard, apparently caused by explosives it had been carrying, said the newspaper.

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