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Vietnam military helicopter crash kills 16

HANOI, Vietnam -- A Vietnamese military helicopter on a parachute training mission crashed close to the Vietnamese capital on Monday, killing 16 people on board and wounding five others, officials and state-controlled media said.

The Russian-made MI-171 helicopter came down about 15 minutes after takeoff in a small village about 24 miles (40 kilometers) west of Hanoi.

A doctor at a military hospital said 16 people were killed and five others were being treated for serious burn injuries.

He didn't give his name because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Reports in the state-controlled media said 16 of those on board were parachute recruits from the air force's helicopter regiment. There were also two trainers and three crew members on board.

The MI-171 helicopter is primarily a transport aircraft, but there is also a gunship version.

Vietnam buys most of its military hardware from Russia, the country's cold war ally. Much of it dates back more than 20 years.

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