SKARDU, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — An army helicopter crashed during a test flight in northern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six crew members and seriously injuring two others, military officials said on Thursday. The aircraft possibly caught fire in mid-air before it went down.
The accident happened when the MI-17 helicopter went down near an airport in the town of Skardu, the capital of a district carrying the same name in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. The aircraft was conducting a test flight, reportedly to verify technical difficulties.
Six crew members were killed in the crash, a military spokesman said. He identified the victims as Major Amir Azam, Havildar Abdual Waheed, Havildar Zeeshan Haider, Naik Muhammad Imran, Sepoy Kaleem Ullah and Sepoy Noor Mustafa. A memorial service was held at Qasim Army Aviation Base in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Two other people who were on board the aircraft were critically injured, the spokesman added.
The exact cause of the accident was not immediately known, but investigators believe the helicopter caught fire in mid-air due to a technical fault. Other details were not released.