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Indonesian helicopter cuts rope carrying eight Indonesian soldiers; all presumed dead


Saturday, October 4, 2003

(10-04) 01:26 PDT JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) --


Eight Indonesian soldiers plummeted into the ocean and were presumed dead on Saturday after a helicopter crew cut the ropes carrying them during rehearsal of a mid-air stunt, the military said.


The soldiers were practicing a maneuver over the ocean for the upcoming Indonesian Armed Forces Day, said Gen. Bambang Dharmono, chief commander of operations. They were hanging from lines suspended beneath a helicopter and were trying to swing to ropes beneath a second helicopter.


High winds sent the helicopter plummeting toward the sea, and to save it, the crew cut the rope carrying the soldiers, Bambang said.


"This was an accident caused by bad weather," Bambang said. "We assume they are dead and we are looking for bodies."


It was not immediately clear how high the soldiers were when they fell into the sea.


The incident happened off Lhokseumawe in the province of Aceh, an oil- and gas-region on the northern tip of Sumatra island about 1,100 miles northwest of Jakarta. Armed Forces Day is on Sunday.


In May, the military launched a major offensive in Aceh aimed at destroying separatist rebels.

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ya, hmm lets see...kill 8 people or save a helicopter....To me it almost seems like the people would be more important.

I guess we don't have all of the details so once again I guess i should keep my mouth shut

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DR, you may be a little harsh here. No doubt there was a serious lack of forethought here, but the PIC still had the three crew members on board to think about as well.

From the sound of things they were going in with those guys on the line, those guys wouldnt have stood a chance if the aircraft ditched with them still attached.

Sad incedent.

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