Five Indian army soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed near the country’s disputed border with China, the defence ministry said on Saturday — the second such fatal accident in the region this month.

The Advance Light Helicopter came down on Friday south of Tuting, a remote town near the Line of Actual Control that divides India’s northeastern Arunachal Pradesh state from Chinese territory.

Air traffic controllers had received a mayday call before the crash that suggested technical or mechanical failure, the ministry said in a statement.

Four bodies had been recovered and rescuers were working to retrieve the fifth and final occupant of the helicopter, the statement said.

“The Indian Army offers deepest condolences [and] stands firmly with the bereaved families,” it added.

The accident comes weeks after an Indian army pilot was killed while on a routine flight aboard a Cheetah helicopter at Tawang, further east in the state.

China and India fought a full-scale war in 1962 over control of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims in its entirety and considers part of Tibet.

Tensions have simmered between the countries since a clash elsewhere on their disputed Himalayan border in 2020 that left 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese troops dead.

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