Tourist helicopter crashes in Vietnam, two dead

By Le Tan   April 5, 2023 | 06:01 am PT
Tourist helicopter crashes in Vietnam, two dead
The Bell 505 helicopter crashes in northern Vietnam April 5, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
A tourist helicopter carrying five people crashed at the border of Quang Ninh Province, home to the world-famous Ha Long Bay, and Hai Phong city Wednesday, leaving two dead and three missing.

The Bell 505 helicopter belonging to the state-owned Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company was piloted by Colonel Chu Quang Minh with four tourists on board.

The group was taking an arial tour of Ha Long Bay. The helicopter took off from Tuan Chau Island in Quang Ninh Province at 4:56 p.m. and lost radio signal at 5:15 p.m.

At 7:18 p.m., a team of military personnel found two bodies alongside pieces of fuselage deemed to be the destroyed helicopter.

Rescue teams are currently searching for the other three people on board.

The Bell 505 was manufactured by Bell Helicopter in the U.S. in 2018 and was imported to Vietnam in 2019.

The helicopter was often used for tourism purposes. It had five seats, four of them for passengers. It can travel at a maximum speed of 232 kilometers per hour and can fly up for up to 5,600 meters at a time.

The Bell 505 was added to a group of aircrafts used for Ha Long Bay helicopter tours in 2019.

Tours typically take travelers above the bay for 10-30 minutes, with ticket prices ranging from VND2.5 -7.35 million ($106.58-313.33).

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