Navy cancels 90th anniversary celebrations after helicopter crash

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 – The Royal Malaysian Navy’s 90th anniversary celebrations on Saturday will be cancelled following a crash involving two navy helicopters at the Lumut naval base in Perak.

“The celebration has been cancelled. We will organise prayers and a tahlil ceremony instead,” said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin during a press conference.

“This is also in line with the wishes of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who is the navy’s captain-in-chief.”

A 21-second video of the incident that has gone viral on social media shows one helicopter crashing into the tail of another mid-air, and both diving to the ground.

Earlier, Khaled said the helicopters crashed during a rehearsal for Saturday’s celebration.

In a statement, the navy confirmed that two helicopters, identified as models HOM (M503-3) and Fennec (M502-6), had collided and subsequently crashed in the 9.32am incident.

The navy said the 10 individuals on board the helicopters died in the crash, with the HOM (M503-3) helicopter carrying seven people and the remaining three aboard the Fennec (M502-6).

Khaled said the HOM M503-3 was procured in 2021 while the Fennec M502-6 was procured in 2003.

24 Apr 2024

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