June 12, 2019

NAF helicopter crash detail still scanty – Daramola

NAF helicopter

NAF helicopter

…Officials decline comments

By Bashir Bello

KATSINA – Residents near the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International airport in Katsina state were on Wednesday gripped by tension and fear when an helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Air Force involved in the anti-armed banditry combat mission in the Northwest Theatre under Operation HADARAN DAJI crash landed and allegedly detonated bomb in the airport.

NAF helicopter

Though, officials of the Nigerian Air Force and FAAN seen at the scene of the incidence declined comments on how the incident happened and what was the root cause.

Sources met at the scene said the helicopter crash landed while returning from operation and allegedly detonated a bomb of which the empty shell smashed glasses in the new terminal wing of the airport and hit a residential house few meters away from the airport.

A combine team of soldiers, police, air force, officials of the FAAN barricaded the main gate to the airport making it difficult to gain entrance into the area.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement said ‘the helicopter crashed in the process of landing while returning from an anti-armed banditry combat mission in the Northwest Theatre under Operation HADARAN DAJI.

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‘Details of the cause of the incident, which occurred at the Katsina Airport at about 3.30pm today, 12 June 2019, are still scanty. However, there was no loss of life, either of persons on board the helicopter or on the ground.

‘The CAS, has immediately directed the constitution of a Board of Inquiry to determine the exact cause of the incident.

‘The NAF continues to solicit the understanding and support of the general public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.’