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Helicopter That Fired on Bystanders at Zapad Drills Was Involved in Second Incident

Screenshot RBK

A Russian military helicopter that misfired on bystanders during the Zapad 2017 drills was involved in a second blunder last month, the RBC business outlet reported Monday.

Up to three people were injured Sept. 16 when the Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter fired a rocket in what was reported as a system malfunction.

The Defense Ministry confirmed during the exercises that a helicopter engaged a wrong target, but denied the reported date and injury count.

A source close to the Defense Ministry and another in the aviation industry confirmed to RBC on Monday that the second misfiring occurred 25 minutes after the first.

An engineer after the attack helicopter after it was ordered to return to base forgot to inspect its weapon station before releasing the 30 mm caliber shell. Instead, the engineer immediately released the trigger, the source close the ministry told RBC.

“If everything had been done according to instructions, the projectile would have just dropped next to the aircraft, but here it stayed in the barrel. As a result, there was a shot that hit a storage facility,” the source said.

A warehouse wall was partially damaged and there were no casualties in the second incident, according to the source.

A special commission comprising Defense Ministry and aviation industry officials was formed to ascertain the causes of the mishap and identify those responsible, RBC reported.

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