August 18, 2010
Five people died after a government helicopter carrying senior civil servants crashed in a remote area of jungle in northern Thailand in bad weather, officials said on Wednesday.
The helicopter, whose passengers included Permanent Secretary for natural resources and environment Saksit Tridech, vanished from radar screens on Tuesday after taking off from Phitsanulok province.
The wreckage was discovered early on Wednesday in Nan province after an operation involving four army and air force helicopters as well as a ground search.
The Nan provincial governor said the crash site was around three kilometres from the nearest village.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti told Thai television that the bodies of all five people on board had been recovered.
The inspector-general of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and a senior adviser to the Royal Household Bureau were also among them.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told reporters that he believed the crash was caused by bad weather.