QUETTA: A Pakistan Army helicopter crashed during an overnight mission in Balochistan, killing all six military personnel who were on board, including both pilots, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said early Monday.
The crash took place in the district of Harnai, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of Quetta. It was not immediately clear what mission the helicopter was on, and the media wing of the army provided no further details.
The government in Balochistan said an investigation was underway.
Responding to the news, the prime minister tweeted he was deeply grieved, and prayed for the deceased and their family members. He further said the “entire nation shared the grief of the bereaved”.
ہرنائی بلوچستان میں پاک فوج کے ہیلی کاپٹر کے حادثے میں 2 پائلٹس سمیت 6 فوجی اہلکاروں کی شہادت پر دل شدید دکھی اور رنجیدہ ہے۔اللہ تعالی سے دعا ہے کہ وہ شہداء کو جنت الفردوس میں جگہ عطا فرمائے اور ان کے لواحقین کو صبر جمیل دے۔ پوری قوم غمزدہ خاندانوں کے دکھ میں شریک ہے۔
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 26, 2022
Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), said helicopter flying was getting dangerous, noting that this required “engineering evaluation”.
“Too many crashes […] rest in peace, Bravehearts. All were too young to die,” he said in a tweet.
Heli flying is getting dangerous this needs engineering evaluation, too many crashes …RIP Braveheart’s all were too young to die اللہ صبر دے https://t.co/dM68MgQxJL
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 26, 2022
The latest incident comes weeks after a helicopter carrying a top general and five other soldiers crashed in Balochistan during a flood-related operation because of a technical fault, killing everyone on board.
Since mid-June, when unprecedented heavy rains and flooding gripped Pakistan, the military has been engaged in relief and rescue efforts across the country struggling with the deluge that has killed more than 1,600 people.
For the past two decades, Balochistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and other militant groups. The government says it has quelled the militancy, but violence in the province has persisted.