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IN SHORT

Military helicopter crash kills three

A MILITARY helicopter belonging to the Prešov military airbase crashed on May 10 at around 21:30 between Sabinov and Ražňany (East Slovakia).

According to unofficial reports the accident took three lives, in all probability the crew of the aircraft, the daily SME reported.

Head of the Slovak Air Force Jozef Dunaj ruled out a technical defect as the cause of the crash. He said that the helicopter was in good technical condition and was halfway in its life span.

According to the SITA news agency, the three men who died were chief pilot Major Imrich Gonda (39), co-pilot Major Vladimír Rišian (37) and Mikuláš Ragáň (24), the on-board technician.

Defence Minister Juraj Liška and Chief of Staff of the Slovak Army Ľubomír Bulík sent condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers.

Since 1993 there have been 13 aeroplane accidents, including the most recent one. The worst accident took place in October 2003, when a Mi-17 helicopter crashed near the village of Pušovce in Eastern Slovakia, killing four soldiers.

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