•Site of the crash, NAF Base, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. PHOTO: The PUNCH.
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter this Friday morning, December 1, 2023, crashlanded and exploded at the NAF Base in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State.
“Though what led to the crash could not be immediately ascertained, it was learnt that the incident occurred around 7.50am,” says a PUNCH report on the incident.
It quotes an unidentified source as saying: “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.”
NAF spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, confirmed the development in a statement.
He said all those onboard survived though they sustained “minor injuries”.
The helicopter with the number NAF MI-35P crashed at exactly 7.45 am shortly after it took off for an operation against economic saboteurs in Rivers State.
“Fortunately, the entire crew of 5 survived the crash with very minor injuries and are currently being attended to at NAF Medical Centre Port Harcourt.
“The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, is currently en route Port Harcourt to access the situation for himself, see to the wellbeing of the crew and give further directives,” the statement partly read