Indonesian Army Helicopter Crash: 13 killed In Latest Of Series Of Air Disasters [Video]

An Indonesian Army Helicopter crashed and burst into flames in the Borneo jungle on Saturday night, killing 13 construction workers on board.

The helicopter had eight crew and was carrying 13 construction workers and materials when it appeared to suffer engine trouble and fell out of the sky.

The Russian-made, Mi-17 aircraft was completely destroyed following the accident in a remote part of Malinau district, North Kalimantan province, according to military spokesman Iskandar Sitompul.

Indonesia has one of the poorest aviation safety records in Asia, if not the whole world. This is just another incident of a sorry record in recent years.

There have been numerous fatal crashes over the years and some have involved military aircraft.

In 2009, four people were killed after an Indonesian navy aircraft crashed into a swamp on Borneo.

Earlier that year, at least 101 people died when an Indonesian military transport plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed into homes

Regarding the latest incident, Sitompul told AFP,“Thirteen people died in the crash, while the rest suffered burn injuries… There was engine trouble and the helicopter lost power… (it) fell with a thump this morning and a fire started”.

An army spokesman confirmed the crash: “An Mi-17 helicopter was involved in an accident near outpost Bulan. It was carrying construction workers to build the outpost.”

Eight civilian construction workers died, while the five other deaths were of crew members, who were military personnel, said Sitompul.

Evacuation of the survivors was being undertaken by military personnel, he added.

The area of the crash is near the Malaysian border and is so remote it can only be reached by helicopter. Borneo is a vast island shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

The military spokesman said that initial indications targeted engine problems as the cause of the helicopter crash, but he stressed it was still unclear exactly what happened.