NAF helicopter with five aboard crashes in Port Harcourt

NAF helicopter

An MI-35P helicopter in the fleet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) crashed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital on Friday morning.

The crash occurred at about 7.45 am shortly after the aircraft took off for an operation in Rivers.

A statement by the NAF spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in Abuja said five crew members were aboard the helicopter.

He, however, said all five survived with minor injuries and were being treated at the NAF Medical Centre in Port Harcourt.

“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, is currently enroute Port Harcourt to assess the situation, see to the wellbeing of the crew and give further directives.

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“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,” Gabkwet said.

In August 2023, NAF MI-171 helicopter on a casualty evacuation mission crashed near Chukuba Village in Niger State, leaving casualties behind.

In 2021, at least 20 military officers lost their lives within three months in three crashes involving NAF jets.

Then Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others were onboard a NAF Beachcraft 350 aircraft that crashed on May 21, 2021 near the Kaduna International Airport. All the 11 military personnel died in the tragic accident.