6 IAF Officers, One Civilian Killed in Helicopter Crash in Budgam
At least seven people were killed in as an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crashed on Wednesday, 27 February near the Garend Kalan village in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam area.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, the IAF said “all the six officers on board the helicopter suffered fatal injuries”.
“Today, one Mi-17 V5 helicopter got airborne from Srinagar airfield at 1000 hrs for a routine mission. It crashed around 1010 hrs near Budgam, J&K. All six air warriors on board helicopter, suffered fatal injuries. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate accident.”Indian Air Force statement
According to The Quint sources, a civilian Kifayat Ahmad Ganaie was also killed due to the crash.
Pak Denies Involvement
Soon after the crash, Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor had said that his country had no engagement with the aircraft which crashed in Budgam.
“There are reports of crash of an Indian aircraft on the Indian side (in Budgam). We had no engagement with that aircraft.”Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan Armed Forces Spokesperson, as quoted by ANI
Earlier, Ghafoor had said that the Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace, with one of them falling inside the Indian territory.
‘Crashed and Caught Fire’: Eyewitnesses Recount
Residents from the Garend Kalan village told The Quint that a flying machine, most likely a helicopter of the Indian Army or Indian Air Force, crashed and caught fire at around 10:15 am.
Deputy Commissioner of Budgam Syed Sehrish confirmed to The Quint that an aircraft crashed near the village, about seven km from the district headquarters. She said that a team of officials had been rushed to the village.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)