Two Malaysian Navy Helicopters Crash During Parade Rehearsal, Killing All 10 Crew Members

The Malaysian Navy has reported that two navy helicopters collided mid-air during a parade rehearsal, resulting in the tragic loss of all 10 crew members on board. The incident took place at the Lumut naval base in the western state of Perak at 9:32 am on Tuesday (0132 GMT), as detailed in a statement released by the navy.

According to the statement, “All victims were confirmed dead at the scene and sent to the Lumut Naval Base military hospital for identification.”

Helicopter Collision Caught on Camera

A video circulating on local media captured the moment several helicopters were flying in formation when one of the aircraft’s rotors clipped another before both crashed to the ground.

Helicopter crash in Lumut, Perak, Malaysia on April 23, 2024. (Photo by Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Local police confirmed the authenticity of the footage, and Malaysia’s navy announced its intention to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the tragic accident.

Helicopters involved in the incident included a Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec lightweight carrying three crew members and an AW139 maritime operation helicopter with seven people on board, the navy confirmed.

The AW139, produced by AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of the Italian defense contractor Leonardo, and the Fennec, manufactured by European multinational defense conglomerate Airbus, were the models involved.

Two military helicopters collide mid-air during a rehearsal in Malaysia. (Photo by Elif Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Local media reported the AW139 crashed at a sports complex at the naval base, while the Fennec hit a nearby swimming pool.

Photographs depicted the heavily damaged Fennec amidst wreckage on the naval base stadium track, with rescue personnel and scattered debris visible.

(Photo by Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Defense Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin stated the two aircraft were engaged in a rehearsal for a parade commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Navy, scheduled for Saturday.

Efforts were initiated to confirm the identities of the crew members killed, all of whom were reported to be under the age of 40, Mohamed Khaled informed reporters.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim extended condolences to the families of the victims, remarking, “The nation mourns the heart-wrenching and soul-wrenching tragedy.” He further indicated that an immediate investigation would be conducted by the Ministry of Defense, particularly TLDM (Royal Malaysian Navy), to determine the cause of the crash.

Incidents involving helicopters are not uncommon in the Southeast Asian nation, with a recent incident involving a Malaysian Coast Guard helicopter crashing in the Strait of Malacca last month, resulting in no fatalities. Additionally, in 2016, a deputy minister was among those who perished after a Eurocopter AS350 crashed in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

Arit Saha
Arit Saha
Arit Saha, an Economics graduate and budding content writer in Kolkata, deftly merges his passions for economics and global politics. He crafts engaging content weaving economic insights into geopolitical narratives. Contact: [email protected]
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