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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Military helicopter crashes again in Adamawa State, Nigeria

 
A Nigeria Air Force helicopter on Monday crash landed near the River Benue bank in Damare, Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The chopper had five crew members said to be American military personnel and a Nigerian.
The Americans, it was learnt, were among the 40 United States military personnel helping the Nigerian military in the on-going operations against Boko Haram in the North-East.
An eyewitness, who resides close to the crash site, told one of our correspondents that the helicopter hovered round the area for about 30 minutes before it crashed.
He said that he rushed to the crash site but found out that all the crew members, except the pilot, had pulled themselves out of the wreckage of the helicopter.
The witness added that before security personnel arrived the scene, he overheard one of them (crew members) directing that the helicopter be set ablaze.
“The pilot and two other persons suffered injuries. The pilot had a fracture on his leg and hand. An Air force ambulance came and evacuated all of them,” he said.
A military source said that the 40 US soldiers had shortly after their arrival in Nigeria visited Mararaba-Mubi on Sunday for an on the spot assessment of the insurgents’ activities in the area.
Another source said, “The helicopter took off from the airport in Yola and came down just a few metres from the state capital.
“They were five crew members, including four Americans, They all survived the crash. But those who were injured are being treated in the hospital.”
Efforts to get the reactions of the American Embassy in Abuja as of 7pm on Monday failed.
But the Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who confirmed the crash in an electronic mail, said the helicopter involved was on a training mission in the area.
He said, “A NAF Helicopter with call sign Shark 23 on a training mission executed a controlled forced landing four minutes after take-off at the runway approach end of the Yola International Airport today (Monday) at about 0930hours.
“There is no casualty recorded as all the crew members have been recovered back to the base.
“The NAF headquarters has already set up an investigation panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.”
When journalists visited the site of the crash, stern-looking military personnel had cordoned it off.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Government has called on its citizens to be calm, stressing that the military was on top of the situation.
The spokesman for the government, Mr. Phineas Elisha, said that “Adamawa, as of today, was better than Adamawa of yesterday.
“People should not panic or be afraid. The government is on top of the situation. Insurgency will soon be history because the military are on top of the situation,” Elisha said.
 
Photo credit: naijabella.com


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