A military helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) crash-landed in Port Harcourt on Friday morning, shortly after it took off.
The news of the NAF MI-35P helicopter crash is contained in a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in Abuja on Friday.
According to the statement, the helicopter which had five crew members on board crashed at about 7.45 am shortly after the aircraft took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers.
Gabkwet, however, noted that all the five crew members survived the crash with minor injuries, adding that they 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.
- “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 added.
In 2023, there have been at least four reported crashes of aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force, including the one that occurred in Port Harcourt today.
On February 6, 2023, a Cessna Citation CJ3 maritime patrol aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force, that departed from Ilorin belly-landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, after it had lost its tyres mid-air. There was no life lost in the accident.
Also, on July 14, 2023, a Nigerian Air Force FT-7NI trainer aircraft crashed in Makurdi, Benue State. Fortunately, none of the occupants of the aircraft lost their lives.
Furthermore, a Nigerian Air Force MI-171 helicopter on a casualty evacuation mission crashed on Monday, August 14, 2023.
The helicopter had departed Zungeru Primary School en route to Kaduna but crashed at about 1:00 pm near Chukuba Village in Shiroro Local Government Area, in Niger State.