Zimbabwean air force helicopter crashes into house, crew and child dead
A Zimbabwean air force helicopter crashed into a residential area in Arcturus, 32km east of the capital Harare, on Friday killing its three crew members and a child on the ground.
The Agusta Bell AB 412 crashed after leaving Manyame Air Force Base on a training flight.
A young girl and her mother were rushed to hospital with burn injuries after the helicopter crashed into a house, according to a statement by the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ). The two were treated at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
Air Marshal Elson Moyo, commander of the AFZ, said a “dark cloud” had engulfed the air force.
“The helicopter took off from Manyame Air Force Base with two pilots and one aircraft technician on board on a general handling training sortie in the Seke-Domboshava training area,” said the air force statement.
“When contact could not be established with the aircraft, the base activated a search and rescue operation. As a result of the search and rescue effort the aircraft wreckage was identified. We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives after the unfortunate accident.”
“The cause of the accident will be established after an air crash investigation,” Moyo said.
Moyo said they would release the names of the dead after their families had been informed.
In November last year an instructor and student pilot died after an AFZ plane crashed during a training session in the midlands city of Gweru.
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