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Three hurt as State Grid inspection helicopter crashes in Hunan
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Three people were injured on Friday when a helicopter inspecting power grid repair work crashed in central China's Hunan Province on Friday, local authorities confirmed on Saturday.

The accident occurred around 3  PM in Chenzhou City, where the grid was severely damaged by severe weather that swept through large parts of China in January and February.

The helicopter, which belonged to the State Grid Corporation of China, was on an inspection mission.

"We were suddenly shrouded in thick fog and the blades hit a tree," Bi Rongzhi, the pilot, was quoted by the local Changjiang Times as saying. "It was fortunate that we hit the ground, not a house," he said.

"I heard humming and bumps before I saw debris from the helicopter scattered everywhere," said Chen Weilin, a local resident.

Chen said that villagers rushed the injured men to a nearby hospital using their homes' doors as makeshift stretchers.

Bi was severely injured but is out of danger. The other two staff, Wu Yulei and Wang Jianhua, suffered only minor injuries.

(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2008)

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