A helicopter belonging to the Nigeria Air Force crash-landed and exploded at the NAF Base in Port Harcourt.
The cause of the crash was not immediately determined, but reports indicated that the incident happened around 7:50 am.
A source said, “I was inside my apartment when I heard this thunderous sound at the NAF Base.
“The next thing I saw was a thick flame. I don’t know if there are casualties because I can’t go close to the scene for now. But I heard a blast twice. ”
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the crash in a statement.
He mentioned that the NAF MI-35P helicopter had departed for an operation against oil thieves in Rivers State. Additionally, he stated that all five individuals aboard survived the crash with minor injuries.
The statement read, “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.’
He said the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, is on his way to the scene to assess the situation.
“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.
“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, ” the statement added.