Pakistan quake relief copter crashes, 6 dead
Updated: 2005-10-16 12:48
A Pakistan army helicopter crashed in Pakistani Kashmir during a relief
operation for the earthquake-shattered region, killing all six soldiers on
board, a military spokesman said on Sunday.
"The Mi-17 helicopter crashed during daytime sometime on Saturday, when it
went to provide relief items in some inaccessible areas in the Bagh valley,"
military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan told Reuters.
"When it was going to Haji Peer Pak, which is a very difficult mountainous
area, we lost contact with it," he said.
The debris of the helicopter was found at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday (2030 GMT on
Saturday), he said, and added that the six soldiers killed in the crash were
Pakistan Army officers.
Sultan said it was not immediately clear whether the helicopter crashed
because of bad weather or some technical fault.
Flights were severely disrupted on Saturday by heavy rains and clouded
weather, and the bad weather was continuing on Sunday.
A fleet of helicopters, including some provided by U.S. forces based in
neighbouring Afghanistan, has been ferrying emergency food supplies and shelter
into the worst-hit areas of Kashmir and adjoining North West Frontier Province.