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Vietnam raises helicopter crash death toll to 18

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A Vietnamese official on Tuesday raised the death toll to 18 from a military helicopter crash that happened close to the capital on a parachute training mission, adding three others were being treated for serious injuries.

The Russian-made MI-171 helicopter came down Monday morning about 15 minutes after takeoff in a small village about 24 miles (40 kilometers) west of Hanoi.

Officials said after the crash that 16 people were killed and five were seriously injured, but an official at the National Burns Hospital said Tuesday that two of the survivors had died and that the three remaining survivors were in critical condition.

The official did not give his name because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

Reports in the state-controlled media said 16 of those on board were parachute recruits from the air force's helicopter regiment. There were also two trainers and three crew members on board.

The MI-171 helicopter is primarily a transport aircraft, but there is also a gunship version.

Vietnam buys most of its military hardware from Russia, the country's cold war ally. Some of it dates back more than 20 years.

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