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April 24, 2024

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Malaysia choppers collide, 10 crew die

Two Malaysian military helicopters collided and crashed during a training session yesterday, killing all 10 crew onboard, the country’s rescue agency said.

Footage shared online showed several helicopters flying low in formation over the Lumut naval base, located about 160 kilometers from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The helicopters were participating in a flypast rehearsal ahead of Naval Day celebrations in May.

One chopper was seen clipping the rear rotor of another, causing both to go into a tailspin and crash.

“The two helicopters collided during flight training,” said Suhaimy Mohamad Suhail, senior operations commander from the fire and rescue department, adding that all 10 crew members on board were confirmed dead by medics.

The two aircraft involved were a Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec and an AgustaWestland AW139, the agency said.

Photos showed the Eurocopter model heavily mangled in the wreckage on the naval base stadium track with rescue personnel surrounding it as well as various debris.

The AgustaWestland helicopter crashed at the naval base’s swimming pool area.

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.”

Malaysia’s King Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar also shared condolences.

Helicopter crashes are not uncommon in the Southeast Asian nation. Last month, all four people onboard a Malaysian coast guard helicopter were rescued after it crashed in the Strait of Malacca.


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