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Helicopter crash in Tarbela kills army officer

TARBELA: A military helicopter crashed near Tarbela, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killing at least one, a military source confirmed Monday evening.

The helicopter was on a routine night training flight when it crashed at Tarbela. An army officer has been killed in the incident.

The Pakistan Army officer has been identified as Lt Col Tauqeer.

Lt Col Tauqeer is survived by his widow, son and daughter.

In May last year, Ambassador of Philippines Domingo D Lucenario Jr, Ambassador of Norway Leif Larsen and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors were among seven people killed in a helicopter crash in Naltar Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Two pilots and a crew member were among those killed when the Pakistan Army helicopter crash-landed on a school in Naltar Valley.

Another army helicopter crashed in August of the same year, near Mansehra district and killing all on board.

Air accidents involving Mi-17 in Pakistan include a 2004 crash near Karak in which 13 soldiers were killed; a 2007 crash near Muzzafarabad on the occasion of inauguration of development projects there; one in 2009 in Kurram Agency in which 41 people were killed; and another in Skardu in 2012 in which five people died.

Other than the Skardu crash, whose cause is still not known, the rest were said to have been caused because of technical reasons.

The army’s aviation wing has been using Mi-17 transport helicopters since late nineties. They are considered as the army aviation’s reliable workhorses. The fleet had been stressed because of the excessive use of these helicopters in counter-terrorism operations and relief activities.

The United States helped Pakistan refurbish and overhaul 22 of the Mi-17s.


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