NAF helicopter crashes in Katsina

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has announced the crash of one of its helicopters engaged in the fight against banditry in Kastina State.

The aircraft was said to have crashed at about 3.30pm on Wednesday while trying to land after returning from an anti-armed banditry operation.

Reports had it that the officers on board were able to exit the aircraft which caught fire moments after the crash.

An eyewitness account said that the helicopter had taken off at about 2.30 pm from the airport but returned about an hour later, apparently having developed a fault mid-air, during its combat mission.

“The moment it managed to land, the officers on board escaped and the entire aircraft went up in flames,” one of the eyewitnesses said.

Director Public Relations and Information Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola who made this known in a statement said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had directed the setting up of a Board of Inquiry to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Daramola said: “A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Helicopter has crashed in the process of landing while returning from an anti-armed banditry combat mission in the Northwest Theatre under Operation HADARAN DAJI.

‘Details of the cause of the incident, which occurred at the Katsina airport at about 3.30pm today, 12 June 2019,  are still scanty. However, there was no loss of life, either of persons on board the helicopter or on the ground.

“The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has immediately directed the constitution of a Board of Inquiry to determine the exact cause of the incident.

“The NAF continues to solicit the understanding and support of the public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Reports the officers on board were able to exit the aircraft which caught fire moments after the crash.

Eyewitness accounts said that the helicopter had taken off at about 2.30 pm from the airport but returned about an hour later, apparently having developed a fault mid-air, during its combat mission.

“The moment it managed to land, the officers on board escaped and the entire aircraft went up in flames, “one of the eyewitnesses said.

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