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UPDATE: 4 people die in Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter crash

By Agencies

FOUR people died while two others were injured after an Air Force of Zimbabwe Agusta Bell 412 (AB 412) helicopter crashed in the Hukuru Area in Arcturus, Mashonaland East Province yesterday.

Flight-Lieutenant Anita Mapiye

The helicopter crashed into a house and two pilots and a technician as well as a child that was on the ground, were killed.

Another young girl and the mother, also on the ground, sustained burn injuries after the helicopter caught fire after crashing.

Flight-Lieutenant Anita Mapiye

The injured were been taken to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for treatment.

Authorities were yet to name the victims, but a prominent female Flight-Lieutenant is among the deceased.

Flight-Lieutenant Anita Mapiye

In a statement last night, the AFZ said the helicopter was from Number 8 Sqn at Manyame Air Force Base (Manyame AFB), which was on a general handling training sortie in the Seke-Domboshava Training Area.

“A dark cloud has engulfed the AFZ after news of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of three aircrew and a civilian on the ground,” he said.

Flight-Lieutenant Anita Mapiye

“When contact could not be established with the aircraft, the base activated a search and rescue operation. We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives after the unfortunate accident,” Air Force Commander Elson Moyo said in the statement.

Flight-Lieutenant Anita Mapiye

The air force is investigating the cause of the crash.

An instructor and a student pilot died in November last year after an Air Force of Zimbabwe plane crashed during a training session in the midlands city of Gweru. ■

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