Six killed as Pakistan Army helicopter carrying top officials crashes in Lasbela

Army helicopter went missing during flood relief operation in Balochistan

A Pakistan military helicopter carrying six people, including senior officials, crashed in the mountains near Lasbela, Balochistan on Monday night during a flood relief operation in the province.

The army aviation helicopter, which was helping with flood relief work in Balochistan province, lost contact with air traffic control on Monday.

“The accident occurred due to bad weather,” the military said in a statement.

Officials on board

Six Pakistan army officials, including the Commander XII Corps Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali and director general of the Pakistan Coast Guard, Major General Amjad Hanif Satti were on board. Gen Ali was supervising relief operations in the flood-affected southwest.

Officials on board included:

  • Commander XII Corps Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali
  • Pakistan Coast Guard director general Major General Amjad Hanif Satti
  • Pilot Major Saeed
  • Co-pilot Major Talha
  • CC Engr XII Corps Brig Khalid
  • Nair Mudasir (Crew Chief)

Pakistan Army confirmed the news in a late-night official statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The aviation helicopter was supervising relief activities in Lasbela district, about 500 kilometers south of Quetta when it lost contact with a regional control tower and went missing

A search operation that launched on Monday continued till Tuesday morning. Police and Frontier Corps personnel are conducting a joint search operation, DIG Khuzdar Range Police Pervez Umrani told media.

Difficulties in search and rescue

The area where the helicopter went missing was mountainous terrain, difficult to access, making search and rescue operations extremely difficult for the parties. The area does not even have jeep paths. The area also does not have electricity or even cell phone coverage. “Either you go on foot or motorcycles or conduct aerial surveillance,” a senior official said.

Police engaged the services of local volunteers to assist with the search operation.

The unusual monsoon flooding, which began in mid-June, has killed at least 478 people in Pakistan so far, with at least 136 dead in Balochistan alone.

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