10 killed after M'sian navy helicopters collide in mid-air, Latest World News - The New Paper

10 killed after M'sian navy helicopters collide in mid-air

PETALING JAYA – Ten people were killed on April 23 after two helicopters collided in mid-air during a rehearsal for a Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) parade, the navy said in a statement.

All 10 were crew members aboard the two aircraft.

The accident occurred at the TLDM stadium in Lumut naval base in the western state of Perak at 9.32am, the navy said.

“All victims were confirmed dead at the scene and sent to the Lumut army base hospital for identification,” the navy said.

Footage shared online showed several helicopters flying low in a formation over the Lumut naval stadium in a flypast rehearsal ahead of the navy fleet’s open day celebrations in May.

One of the choppers was seen clipping the rear rotor of another helicopter, causing both to go into a tailspin and crash.

Debris from the crash can also be seen falling near where other navy personnel were participating in marching drills.

The two helicopters involved were a Fennec M502-6 and a HOM M503-3. The helicopters had earlier taken off from Padang Sitiawan at 9.03am.

A three-man crew was manning the Fennec helicopter, while there were seven crew members onboard the HOM helicopter. They were based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Lumut, Perak

The HOM crashed on the stairs at the TLDM stadium, while the Fennec helicopter crashed into the swimming pool in the sports complex.

TLDM said it would be establishing a board of investigators to look into the cause of the incident and asked members of the public not to broadcast the video of the incident to protect the privacy of the victims’ families, as well as the investigation process.

The New Straits Times reported that Defence Minister Khaled Nordin would be visiting the crash site along with armed forces chief Mohammad Ab Rahman.

TLDM will be flying the families of the victims to Lumut on April 23, with Mr Khaled to meet them.

An interim investigation report will be released by TLDM as soon as possible ahead of the full report.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim sent his condolences to the families of the victims, saying that the nation mourned the tragedy.

“I was informed that an immediate investigation will be carried out by the Ministry of Defence, especially TLDM, to find the cause of the crash,” he said.

Malaysia’s King Ibrahim Iskandar sent his condolences to the victims’ families, calling for a detailed investigation to be conducted by the Malaysian armed forces. – AFP, REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK