Monday, July 13, 2009

26 killed in military chopper crash

Daily Times


26 killed in military chopper crash

By Saboor Khan

HANGU: At least 26 security personnel were killed on Friday when an army helicopter crashed in Orakzai Agency because of a technical fault, according to military sources.

The sources told Daily times that the helicopter was en route to Peshawar from Parachinar when it crashed at the border of Khyber and Orakzai agencies, some 30 kilometres from Peshawar. They said an investigation into the crash had already begun, but insisted that the chopper went down because of a technical fault.

Local sources told Daily Times that a Pakistan Army MI-17 helicopter crashed at around 4pm in Barki Feroz Khel area in Lower Orakzai. Witnesses said Frontier Corps (FC) and army personnel were on board. Witnesses said the chopper caught fire after it crashed. They also said that security forces started shelling the area after the "accident". The Reuters news agency said all those on board had been killed.

Earlier, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said a helicopter had crashed in the northwest, but gave no details on casualties. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has expressed grief over the accident in Orakzai Agency. In a message, the prime minister prayed for those killed and sympathised with their families.





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