13 killed in military helicopter crash in Kazakhstan

A Ukranian Mi-8 helicopter performs training on the Starokostyantyniv military airbase October 12, 2018. A similar helicopter crashed in southwestern Kazakhstan March 27, 2019. — AFP pic
A Ukranian Mi-8 helicopter performs training on the Starokostyantyniv military airbase October 12, 2018. A similar helicopter crashed in southwestern Kazakhstan March 27, 2019. — AFP pic

ALMATY (Kazakhstan), March 28 — A military helicopter has crashed in southwestern Kazakhstan, killing all 13 servicemen on board, the defence ministry said today.

The crash involving the Russian-made Mi-8 aircraft occurred yesterday, the ministry said in a statement.

“13 servicemen were killed... while performing their military duty,” it said.

Kazakhstan’s new president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev tweeted that he had ordered an investigation into the crash.

A Soviet-era workhorse first built in the 1960s, the Mi-8 helicopter is widely used to transport passengers and supplies to remote sites.

It has been involved in a number of recent accidents. In August last year, 18 people were killed in a crash in Siberia.

The defence ministry said today that the families of those killed would receive compensation.

Tokayev became Kazakhstan’s president last week following the shock resignation of long-ruling 78-year-old strongman Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has retained key decision-making powers in the Central Asian country of 18 million. — AFP

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