A Nigerian Air Force helicopter crash-landed and exploded in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The incident happened on Friday at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in the Garden city, around 7.50am.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet confirmed the incident in a statement. He revealed that the NAF MI-35P had taken off to carry out an operation against the perpetrators of oil theft in Rivers State.
The Air Commodore said that all five persons on board survived the crash, sustaining minor injuries.
“A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-35P helicopter has crashed at Port Harcourt today, December 1, 2023. The unfortunate incident occurred at about 7.45 am shortly after the aircraft took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers State.
“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.’
“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,” Gabkwet said in the statement.
“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,” he added.
The cause of the crash is yet to be known.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur