Pakistan Military Helicopter Crash Kills Philippines & Norway Ambassadors And Injures Other Foreign Diplomats
According to Pakistani military, a Pakistan military helicopter crash has killed Philippines' and Norway's ambassadors and left other foreign diplomats injured. Six people were killed Friday including the two envoys, Leif H. Larsen of Norway and Domingo D. Lucenario Jr. of the Philippines, according to General Asim Bajwa of Pakistan's military, who shared the news via his Twitter account. The helicopter's two pilots and the wives of Malaysia's and Indonesia's ambassadors were also among those killed, Agence France-Presse said. Polish ambassador Andrzej Ananciz and Dutch ambassador Marcel de Vink were reportedly injured. (Update: Bajwa has tweeted a crew member also died in the crash, bringing the total number of people killed to seven.)
Bajwa said that 11 foreigners and six Pakistani passengers were on board the crashed MI-17 helicopter, which crash landed in the Naltar valley, located in the northeast region of Pakistan. The cause of the crash is unknown. Bajwa also said a second helicopter had crash landed but all passengers and crew survived. A third helicopter was also in flight and did not appear to be involved in any crash.
According to AFP, the helicopter was part of a convoy of foreign diplomats and aides to Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan territory, which is part of the disputed region of Kashmir. The helicopter reportedly crashed in a Northern Pakistan school that had children inside. Authorities warned casualty numbers could rise.
A passenger in one of the helicopters told AFP, "It was a diplomatic trip with members of 37 countries in total." A senior official also told AFP, "We have been told to send in as many ambulances as we can because the situation there is 'urgent.'"