Probe set on Marine chopper crash

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Probe set on Marine chopper crash

A joint investigative team of 40 civilians, military and government officials will begin probing a chopper crash that killed five Marines last month, a military official said on Monday.

The group will begin its work on Wednesday. Ten members are civilian experts recommended by families of the victims and several government agencies, including the National Police Agency and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The team will be led by Kwon Jae-sang, an emeritus professor at the Air Force Academy.

The MUH-1 Marineon, the Marine variant of the KUH-1 Surion helicopter, crashed at a military airport in Pohang, North Gyeongsang, on July 17. Five of the six Marines onboard were killed.

The investigators will likely focus on technical defects rather than human error as the chopper’s rotor separated from the fuselage just four to five seconds after takeoff.

The Marines received the helicopters in January for the purpose of transporting its service members and equipment. The plan was to introduce a total of 28 Marineons by 2023.

After the accident, the Marine Corps and Army grounded all Marineons and Surions.

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