30 August 2012
NEW DELHI Nine Indian air force personnel were killed on Thursday when two Russian-designed military helicopters apparently collided in mid-air, the military and police said.

Air force spokesman Wing Commander Gerard Galway said the two Mi-17 helicopters were "flying in close formation" over a firing range in the western state of Gujarat when they crashed.

"It is likely it was a mid-air collision," Galway told AFP, confirming that all nine on board the two aircraft had died.

Galway said an inquiry would establish exactly how the accident occurred.

An air official who did not want to be named said the two helicopters were practising firing over the range near a military airbase in Jamnagar district when the accident happened.

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