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Bodies of nine soldiers pulled from chopper wreckage

Bangkok, Nov 18 (AFP) Rescue workers have retrieved the bodies of nine soldiers — including a senior regional commander — after an army helicopter crash in northern Thailand, authorities said today.

The bodies — some charred — were recovered late Monday several hours after the chopper went down in northern Phayao province killing everyone on board.

“We have taken the bodies to the provincial hospital,” Chuchad Keelapaeng, provincial governor told.

“Many of bodies were burnt beyond recognition,” he said, adding the deputy commander of the third army which covers northern Thailand was among the dead.

“An army committee will investigate the reason for the crash,” he said.

In July 2011 a series of helicopter crashes in the space of a week forced the Thai army to ground many of its fleet.

The choppers crashed in a province southwest of Bangkok claiming 17 lives.

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