GILGIT: An army helicopter MI-17 crashed near the Skardu airport on Wednesday, killing five officials including the pilot and the co-pilot.
Three people also sustained injuries in the incident however it could not be immediately confirmed if the injured were civilians or military personnel as the ISPR Gilgit office, despite repeated attempts, did not respond to phone calls.
“The crash occurred near the Skardu airport during a routine training flight,” ISPR and other sources in Skardu told The Express Tribune by phone.
According to ISPR, the three dead, other than the pilots, were aircrew.
Sources said that the helicopter caught up fire in the air due to a technical fault before crashing on the ground near the airport.
Locals saw the helicopter hovering over the sky during the day.
The crash is the second major incident in the past two months after Giari incident in the Baltistan region where an avalanche buried more than 135 army personnel and civilians.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have offered condolences over the loss of lives in the incident.
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