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Crew blamed for Serbian army helicopter crash

Xinhua, April 4, 2015 Adjust font size:

Serbian Defense Ministry said Friday that the flight crew were responsible for last month's army helicopter crash that killed seven people.

The brigade general in charge of the flight and Air Force command was also partially to blame for the accident, according to two reports released by the ministry.

Seven people, including a 5-day-old baby, died on March 13 when a military Mi-17 helicopter crashed in heavy fog near the Belgrade airport.

The accident that took place during a rescue operation of the infant in need of urgent medical treatment was caused by the inadequate handling of the aircraft in the complex meteorological conditions, the Defense Ministry said.

Facts showed that the pilot and copilot had presence of alcohol in their blood and irregularities were found in the chain of command, said the reports.

According to the reports, the meteorological conditions were not favorable, and were below visibility level at the time of the helicopter's lift-off as well as its fall. But these conditions fulfilled the prescribed minimum and the crew had enough training for these circumstances. Endi