Unsafe airspace? Fourth deadly aircraft crash in region in six years

Published: December 8, 2016
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

ABBOTABAD: The PIA plane crash near Havelian on Wednesday was the fourth deadly aircraft accident in the last six years, according to official records. All of the other crashes involved helicopters.

According to records available with the police, on  February 29, 2016 an Army Aviation helicopter crashed near Ghazi Airbase, some 55km from Haripur district headquarters in Tehsil Ghazi near Tarbela Dam, killing a lieutenant colonel, while a major and a havaldar were injured.

At least 12 passengers including two crew members and a medical team were killed when an Army Aviation MI-17 helicopter crashed on the hilly range of Koh-e-Bhaingra near Mohar Village in Lassan Nawab on the afternoon of August 6, 2015.

The helicopter was flying from Gilgit to Islamabad when it crashed. The incident was blamed on cloudy weather. The rescue operation in this crash was launched after about three hours. By that time, all the passengers and crew members were dead. The bodies were shifted to Combined Military Hospital Abbottabad after a 12-hour joint effort between the military, police, and villagers.

On February 24, 2010, another Army Aviation’s MI-17 helicopter crashed at Ghazi Airbase, killing Sepoy Masoodur Rehman, a resident of Changi Bandi Haripur, and injuring Major Kafeel, Major Rizwan, and naik Ziauddin. This crash was due to a technical fault.

In addition, one of the helicopters used in the assassination of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 went down over Abbottabad. No major injuries were caused by the crash. The crash was blamed on weather conditions.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2016.

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