March 6, 2020 / 10:51 AM / a month ago

Foreign attaches safe after helicopter crashes in Myanmar - diplomat

Soldiers exam a Myanmar military helicopter that had an accident while taking off from Lwe Khan, Shan State, Myanmar, March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

YANGON (Reuters) - Foreign military attachés aboard a Myanmar military helicopter escaped serious injury when it crashed in eastern Myanmar on Friday afternoon, a Western diplomat told Reuters.

The helicopter was bound for the commercial capital Yangon when it crashed shortly after taking off from Lwe Khan village in northern Shan state, Myanmar military spokesman Zaw Min Tun told Reuters. He said two pilots had been injured but declined to elaborate.

“Foreign attachés from several countries, including the United States, were on board,” a Western diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “None was injured seriously.”

They had attended a press briefing in the area, where authorities recently seized $37 million worth of narcotics, chemicals and equipment.

Aircraft accidents involving either civilian or military planes are not uncommon in the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar is the world’s biggest producer of methamphetamine, and authorities are often keen to show large-scale seizures to the media.

(This story corrects title of military spokesman in paragraph 2.)

Reporting by Poppy Elena McPherson; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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