Philippines, Norway Ambassadors among 7 killed in Gilgit helicopter crash
DG ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted that the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian Ambassadors were also killed in the crash.
Two pilots and a crew member were martyred. The pilots were identified as Major Altamish and Major Faisal.
The injured include the Polish, Dutch, Romanian, Lebanese Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Malaysia and Indonesia. The wife of the Polish Ambassador is also injured.
The foreign diplomats were scheduled to attend the inauguration of a chairlift project for tourists in Gilgit.
According to the ISPR one MI-17 out of three carrying visitors had crash landed in Naltar Valley. There were 11 foreigners and six Pakistani passengers on board.
Crash due to technical fault: Defence Minister
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said initial reports pointed towards technical failure being the result of the crash. Defence Minister Asif stressed that there was no indication that the accident was caused by any reason other than technical failure.
Security sources said initial investigations had revealed that the crash was caused by a failure in the tail rotor of the helicopter. The helicopter lost control and the hit the roof of a local school in the area. Following the crash the helicopter caught fire.
FO forms crisis management cell
The Foreign Office said 30 Ambassadors and their wives had been taken on a C-130 to Gilgit. The diplomats were being taken to the Naltar Valley in the MI-17 helicopters.
According to the Foreign Office the helicopter which crashed had 17 passengers on board.
The Foreign Office has also established a crisis management cell to hanlde matters related to the crash.
PM announces day of mourning
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a day of mourning following the horrific crash in Gilgit.
Earlier, a statement by PM House said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s trip to Naltar Valley had been cancelled after the Gilgit accident.
The statement went on to say that his plane was turned back without landing.
The PM has expressed his condolence over the loss of lives in the accident and has directed for immediate medical services to the injured. P.C Geo