JUST IN: Our Fighter Helicopter Crashed While Fighting Oil Thieves in Port Harcourt- NAF
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has confirmed the crash of one of its fighter helicopters, NAF MI-35P in Port Harcourt Rivers State.
The helicopter crash-landed and subsequently burst into flames at about 7:55am at the NigeriaN Air Force Base, Port Harcourt.
Confirming the accident, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement said that the aircraft was on engaged in the current operation of the NAF against oil thieves when it encountered problems.
He confirmed that the 5-crew members aboard the helicopter survived the accidents with minor injuries.
“ 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.” part Gabkwat’s statement read.
Gabkwat also confirmed that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar was already on his way to Port Harcourt for on the spot assessment of the situation.
“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.
“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 statement further read.
It is not clear if the helicopter encountered any fire from the “oil thieves.”