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NAF Helicopter Crash-Lands In Port Harcourt

A Nigerian Air Force helicopter crash-landed and exploded at the NAF Base in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 

The incident occurred around 7am on Friday, December 1, 2023. 

“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,” a source told Punch

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who confirmed the incident said that five persons on board survived with minor injuries. 

According to Gabkwet, the NAF MI-35P had taken off to embark on an operation against oil thieves in Rivers State.

“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,” the statement read. 

“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, was 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.” 

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