6 killed in collision of 2 Colombian military helicopters

11:26, April 21, 2010      

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An injured Colombian soldier is carried from an ambulance by rescue workers upon arrival at Neiva airport April 20, 2010. At least 6 military personnel died, including General Fernando Joya after two helicopters crashed during lift off them from an army base in Chaparral Tolima province. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Two helicopters collided and crashed on Tuesday in southwestern Colombia, killing six military officers including a general and injuring five others, the military said.

The tragic event occurred during the inauguration of a military base in Tolima, southwest of Colombia, the Colombian Military Forces said in a statement.

The two helicopters -- one Bell 222 of Vertical Aviation and a Huey of the Colombian Armed Forces -- crashed when they were lifting off.

Among the dead were Brigadier General Fernando Joya Duarte, a commander in the military force in the south of Tolima, two colonels and three soldiers.

The authorities said a technical commission of the Air Forces had been sent to investigate the accident.

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