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10 killed as Malaysian helicopters collide mid-air

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Two military helicopters collided during a training session, resulting in the loss of all 10 crew members on board in Malaysia.

A senior operations commander from the fire and rescue department, Suhaimy Mohamad Suhail, confirmed the devastating outcome, stating, “The two helicopters collided during flight training. All 10 victims on board have been confirmed dead by the medical officers.”

The incident occurred during a flypast rehearsal at the Lumut naval stadium, ahead of the navy fleet’s open day celebrations in May. Footage shared online captured the moment of collision, with one helicopter clipping the rear rotor of another, leading to a tailspin and subsequent crash.

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The helicopters involved were identified as a Eurocopter AS555SN Fennec and an AgustaWestland AW139. Photos from the scene depicted the wreckage, with one helicopter heavily mangled on the naval base stadium track and the other crashing at the swimming pool area.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed condolences to the families of the victims, stating, “The nation mourns the heart-wrenching and soul-wrenching tragedy.” He also announced that an immediate investigation would be conducted by the Ministry of Defense to determine the cause of the crash, particularly focusing on the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM).

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Helicopter incidents are not uncommon in Malaysia, with previous accidents occurring. Last month, a Malaysian Coast Guard helicopter crashed in the Strait of Malacca, fortunately with no fatalities. In 2016, a Eurocopter AS350 crash in the Malaysian state of Sarawak resulted in fatalities, including a deputy minister.

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