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Nigerian Air Force helicopter crashlands in Rivers

The helicopter reportedly crashlanded shortly after it took off for an operation in Rivers State.

File Photo: NAF Helicopter. [Channels TV]

What led to the crash has not been ascertained yet, but according to ThePunch, the incident happened around 7:45 am.

A source who spoke to the newspaper said, “I was inside my apartment when I heard this thunderous sound at the NAF Base.

“The next thing I saw was a thick flame. I don’t know if there are casualties because I can’t go close to the scene for now. But I heard a blast twice.”

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Confirming the crash, Edward Gabkwet, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore the helicopter crashlanded shortly after it took off for an operation in Rivers State.

“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter has crashed at Port Harcourt today, December 1, 2023. The unfortunate incident occurred at about 7.45 am shortly after the aircraft took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers State.

“Fortunately, the entire crew of five survived the crash with very minor injuries and are currently being attended to at NAF Medical Centre Port Harcourt,” the statement reads in part.

Gabwet added that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, was already on his way to the scene.

“The Chief of Air Staff is currently en route to Port Harcourt to assess the situation for himself, see to the well-being of the crew, and give further directives.

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“An incident of this nature is yet again a grim reminder of the dangers associated with military flying and the risks NAF pilots and technicians experience in their onerous tasks of defending our nation and deterring criminal elements from their nefarious activities,” the statement added.

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