Air force Helicopter with US Military Personnel Crashes in Adamawa, DHQ Says no Casualty
While still waiting to see the remains of a Nigerian Air force Alpha jet helicopter that went missing in Adamawa after undergoing a routine operation of routing Boko Haram members in Konduga, another Nigeria Air Force helicopter on Monday crash landed near the River Benue bank in Damare, Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The Air Force helicopter was said to be carrying five crew members, four of whom are American military personnel on a mission to help the military in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
The four US military officers are among the 40 United States military personnel helping the Nigerian military in the on-going operations against Boko Haram in the North-East.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who confirmed the crash in an electronic mail, said the helicopter involved was on a training mission in the area.
He said, “A NAF Helicopter with call sign Shark 23 on a training mission executed a controlled forced landing four minutes after take-off at the runway approach end of the Yola International Airport today (Monday) at about 0930hours.
“There is no casualty recorded as all the crew members have been recovered back to the base.
“The NAF headquarters has already set up an investigation panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.”
When journalists visited the site of the crash, stern-looking military personnel had cordoned it off.
An eyewitness, who resides close to the crash site, said that the helicopter hovered round the area for about 30 minutes before it crashed.
He said that he rushed to the crash site but found out that all the crew members, except the pilot, had pulled themselves out of the wreckage of the helicopter.
The witness added that before security personnel arrived the scene, he overheard one of them (crew members) directing that the helicopter be set ablaze.
“The pilot and two other persons suffered injuries. The pilot had a fracture on his leg and hand. An Air force ambulance came and evacuated all of them,” he said.
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