A Nigerian Air Force helicopter, on Friday, crash-landed and exploded at the NAF Base in Port Harcourt, Rivers State
The news of the crash was confirmed in a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who revealed that the NAF MI-35P had taken off to carry out an operation against the perpetrators of oil theft in Rivers State.
He then said that five persons on board survived the crash, only sustaining minor injuries.
In the statement, Gabkwet said, “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.”
He then added in the statement that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, at that time, was on his way to the scene of the crash to assess the situation, saying, “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.
Although the cause of the crash is yet to be known, it was gathered that the crash took place around 7.50am.