A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter crashed at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday.
Amid emerging details, NAF has confirmed the helicopter crash, calling the accident a “mishap” that included five crew members who survived.
“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter has crashed at Port Harcourt today, 1 December 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,” Edward Gabkwet, an Air Commodore and the Director of Public Relations and Information of NAF, wrote in a statement.
“Fortunately, the entire crew of 5 survived the crash with very minor injuries and are currently being attended to at NAF Medical Centre Port Harcourt. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, is currently en route to Port Harcourt to access (sic) the situation for himself, see to the wellbeing of the crew and give further directives.
“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.”
In September, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, said forensic investigations on the NAF aircraft that crashed in Shiroro, Niger State, would have to wait until analyses were completed abroad.
That helicopter crash happened on August 16, after no less than 14 Nigerian soldiers were killed in a terrorist ambush in Niger State’s Zungeru-Kagara area on August 13.
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