Again, NAF aircraft crashes in Niger

A NIGERIAN Air Force MI-171 aircraft on a casualty evacuation mission crashed near Chukuba Village in Niger state.

The aircraft, which crashed on Monday, August 14, at about 1 p.m., was on its way to Kaduna from Niger state.

However, as of the time of this report, the number of individuals on board and their condition remained unknown.

The NAF spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, confirming the incident said efforts are currently ongoing to rescue the crew and passengers onboard.

“The aircraft had departed Zungeru Primary School enroute Kaduna but was later discovered to have crashed near Chukuba Village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

“Efforts are currently ongoing to rescue the crew and passengers on board the helicopter, while preliminary investigations have commenced to determine the probable cause of the crash,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, this was not the first time the Nigerian Air Force would crash in recent times as The ICIR on July 14, 2023, reported that a Nigerian  Air Force (NAF) FT-7NI trainer aircraft crashed in Makurdi, Benue State capital, while on a routine training exercise. 

According to Gabkwet, two pilots onboard the aircraft survived and were being observed in a military facility.




     

     

    He said: “Luckily, the two pilots on board survived the crash after successfully ejecting from the aircraft. Additionally, there was no loss of lives or damage to any property around the area of impact.

    Similarly, on May 30, The ICIR reported that Nigeria, under former President Muhammadu Buhari experienced a series of military air crashes.

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    Data garnered from media reports in the last seven years shows that the incidents resulted in the loss of 14 aircraft and claimed the lives of 35 people, including civilians and military personnel.

    The report also noted that the crashes also imposed significant financial costs on the military and diminished the number of operational aircraft in its fleet.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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