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Five Crew Members Suffer Injuries in Military Plane Crash in Rivers

By Bliss Okperan

A helicopter operated by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday crash-landed and exploded at the NAF Base, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the incident in a statement, noting that the NAF-35p had taken off on an operation against oil thieves in Rivers State before the unfortunate incident.

He said five persons on board survived the air mishap with minor injuries.

“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter 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,” Mr Gabkwet said in the statement.

He further stated that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, was on his way to the scene to assess the situation.

“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 Chief of Air Staff is currently en route to Port Harcourt to assess the situation for himself, see to the wellbeing of the crew, and give further directives,” he disclosed.

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