NAF Helicopter Crashes In Port Harcourt

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On Friday morning, a Nigerian Air Force helicopter crashed in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

In a statement, NAF spokesman Edward Gabkwet confirmed the development.

He said all those onboard survived though they sustained “minor injuries”.

The helicopter with the number NAF MI-35P crashed at exactly 7.45 am shortly after it took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers State.

“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 the situation for himself, see to the wellbeing of the crew and give further directives,” the statement partly read.

The spate of NAF helicopters crashing leaving casualties has been a source of worry to aviation and safety experts in the last two years, with stakeholders calling on the military to uphold standard operating procedures and routine maintenance of its fleet.

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 Beechcraft 350 aircraft that crashed on May 21, 2021, near the Kaduna International Airport. All the 11 military personnel died in the tragic accident.

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