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Malaysia navy helicopters collide in mid-air, killing all 10 onboard

23 Apr 2024 - 14:38

Two Malaysian navy helicopters have collided in mid-air during a rehearsal for a parade, killing all 10 crew members on board, the navy has said.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA) - Monitoring: The incident occurred at the Lumut naval base in the western state of Perak at 9.32am on Tuesday (0132 GMT), the navy said in a statement.
“All victims were confirmed dead at the scene and sent to the Lumut naval base military hospital for identification,” according to the statement.
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A video circulating on local media showed several helicopters flying in formation, when one of the aircraft’s rotors clipped another before both crashed into the ground.
Local police confirmed the footage was genuine and Malaysia’s navy said it would carry out an investigation into the cause of the accident.
The helicopters involved were a Euro copter AS555SN Fennec lightweight carrying three crew members and an AW139 maritime operation helicopter with seven people onboard, the navy said.
The AW139 is produced by AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of the Italian defence contractor Leonardo. The Fennec is manufactured by European multinational defence conglomerate Airbus.
Local media reported that the AW139 crashed at a sports complex at the naval base, while the Fennec hit a nearby swimming pool.
Photos showed the Fennec heavily mangled in the wreckage on the naval base stadium track with rescue personnel surrounding it as well as various debris.
Defense minister, Mohamed Khaled Nordin, said the two aircraft were rehearsing for a parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Navy, due to be held on Saturday.
Efforts were under way to verify the identities of the crew members killed, all of whom were below the age of 40, Mohamed Khaled told reporters.
Malaysia’s Prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, sent his condolences to the families of the victims, saying “the nation mourns the heart-wrenching and soul-wrenching tragedy”.
“I was informed that an immediate investigation will be carried out by the Ministry of Defense, especially TLDM (Royal Malaysian Navy), to find the cause of the crash,” he said.
Incidents involving helicopters are not uncommon in the south-east Asian nation.
Last month, a Malaysian coast guard helicopter crashed in the strait of Malacca with no fatalities.
In 2016, a deputy minister was among those who died after a Euro copter AS350 crashed in the Malaysian state of Sarawak./Gordian

Story Code: 289255

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