10 Reportedly Killed After Helicopters Collide Mid-Air In Malaysia


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Ten people were reportedly killed Tuesday after two Malaysian Navy helicopters collided mid-air, authorities said.

The helicopters were participating in a training exercise when they collided, leading to the deaths of 10 people on board and injury to a swimmer nearby, according to The Associated Press (AP). Video appeared to show the collision occur.

“All victims were confirmed dead on site,” the Malaysian Navy said in a statement, the AP reported.

One helicopter was seen hovering sideways as it clipped the rotor of another helicopter partaking in the drill before both crashed down to the ground. Both aircraft suffered intense damage. An anonymous police officer told the AP the video was genuine.

Rescuers reportedly attempted to salvage victims’ bodies from the crash. Three women and seven men ranging from ages 26 and 41 were killed in the incident, authorities stated, the outlet reported.

Seven deceased crew members were reportedly aboard an AW139 helicopter manufactured by AgustaWestland, owned by the Italian defense company Leonardo, according to the navy. Three victims were aboard at Fennec helicopter built by Airbus, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Video Shows Strangers Save Driver Stuck In Burning Car)

One helicopter reportedly descended onto a sports field, while another crashed into a nearby swimming pool, Defense Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin stated. Debris from the helicopter injured a swimmer, he continued, the AP reported. There were reportedly a total of seven helicopters, according to Nordin.

The helicopters were preparing for the Malaysian Navy’s 90th anniversary celebration at a naval installation when the fatal accident happened, authorities said, according to the outlet. Several helicopters were spotted flying in low formation before the crash, the footage showed.

Nordin announced the cancellation of the anniversary event, which he said would be substituted by a prayer service for the dead, the AP reported. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim reportedly called the incident a “heart and soul-wrenching tragedy,” adding that an investigation of the crash would be conducted by the navy.