New Delhi: A Pakistan Army chopper — with senior military officers, including the commander of their XII Corps, Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali — crashed near Lasbela, Balochistan, Monday night.
The crash reportedly took place between Windar and the Sassi Punnu Shrine in Balochistan.
The Pakistan Army said in a statement that the chopper — which was assisting with flood relief work in the area — went missing after it lost contact with the air traffic control.
A Pakistan army aviation helicopter which was on flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan lost contact with ATC. 6 individuals were on board including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan. Search operation is underway.DTF
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 1, 2022
Sources in Pakistan told ThePrint that the debris of the crashed chopper was found after a search and rescue mission was launched, after the helicopter went off the radar.
While casualties are feared in the crash, the sources said it was too early to figure out why the crash took place.
News of the missing chopper prompted Pakistani Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif and former PM Imran Khan to take to social media to express their grief and pray for those onboard.
DG coast guard, 2 majors may also have been on board
According to reports, six Pakistani military officials were on-board the chopper, including the Corps commander.
The chopper was assisting with flood relief work in Balochistan. It is being speculated that even the director-general of Pakistan’s Coast Guard, brigadier Amjad Hanif Satti, was on board the chopper.
Reports also suggest that two majors from the Pakistan Army, in addition to the general and DG, were on board the chopper at the time of the crash. However, confirmation is still awaited on this.
The Pakistan Army has been involved in flood relief work in the Balochistan region after above-normal rains resulted in flood, killing many people and disrupting life.
After news of the crash broke out, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, “The disappearance of Army Aviation helicopter from Balochistan is alarming. The entire nation prays to Allah Almighty for the safety, security and return of these sons of the country who came out to help the flood victims. God willing”.
بلوچستان سے آرمی ایوی ایشن کے ہیلی کاپٹر کی گمشدگی تشویشناک ہے۔ پوری قوم اللہ تعالیٰ کے حضور سیلاب متاثرین کی مدد پر نکلنے والے وطن کے ان بیٹوں کی سلامتی، حفاظت اور بخیریت واپسی کے لئے دعا گو ہے۔ ان شاءاللہ
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 1, 2022
Former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said, “Disturbing news of army aviation helicopter missing and praying for all those on board”.
Disturbing news of army aviation helicopter missing and praying for all those on board.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 1, 2022
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)