scorecard2 navy helicopters were seen colliding in midair during a military parade rehearsal, killing 10 people
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2 navy helicopters were seen colliding in midair during a military parade rehearsal, killing 10 people

Matthew Loh   

2 navy helicopters were seen colliding in midair during a military parade rehearsal, killing 10 people
LifeInternational2 min read
  • Two helicopters in Malaysia crashed into each other in midair during a parade rehearsal on Tuesday.
  • Footage posted by local media showed the rotors of one of the choppers striking the other vehicle.

At least 10 people have died after two Malaysian navy helicopters struck each other in midair during a parade rehearsal on Tuesday morning, local authorities said.

Footage posted by Malaysian media shows both choppers flying low over a parade formation before one of the vehicle's rotor blades collides with the other. Both fall to the ground as shredded parts separate from the choppers.

The Royal Malaysian Navy confirmed the incident in a statement on Tuesday, saying that a maritime operation helicopter and a Fennec had crashed at a base in Lumut at 9.32 a.m. local time.

Seven crew members from the maritime operation helicopter died, while another three from the Fennec were killed, the statement said.

The Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia wrote that both helicopters were taking part in flight training for a ceremonial parade and that firefighters responded to the scene at around 9.50 a.m.

The department said it deployed 21 firefighters from two stations. All victims were naval staff and declared dead by base army hospital staff, fire officials said.

The Malaysian navy said an investigative board will be set up to identify the cause of the incident.

Photos of the crash site posted by authorities show that at least one of the helicopters landed in a track and field training area, its body crumpled and mangled.

The Royal Malaysian Navy has used the Fennec, a lightweight French-made attack helicopter, for several decades. An online listing for its assets includes one of the 36-foot long choppers, which says it was launched in 2004.

One Fennec can go for about $5 million on the market, per some aircraft tracking sites.

The other crashed helicopter, a Leonardo AW139, was manufactured by Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland. These are typically used for transport purposes, and prices for the AW139 can vary between $5 million to $10 million on the commercial market.

A US Air Force version of the helicopter, the MH-139 Grey Wolf, costs more than $39 million per unit, per the Air & Space Forces Magazine.

The AW139 typically sits up to four crew, and the Malaysian navy says it inaugurated three of the choppers in 2004.




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