Malaysian Navy Helicopters Collide Midair, Killing 10

Malaysian Navy Helicopters Collide Midair, Killing 10

Two Malaysian Navy helicopters collided midair during a training session in the northwestern state of Perak on Tuesday, killing all 10 people on board, at least the second accident involving government aircraft in the Southeast Asian country in as many months.

The two helicopters were rehearsing for Saturday’s 90th anniversary celebration of the Royal Malaysian Navy when they crashed into each other at 9:32 a.m., the navy said in a statement.

The 10 people on board the two helicopters were all crew and died at the scene, at the naval base in Lumut, the navy said.

Videos published by Malaysian news media showed the two helicopters crashing in midair and then various aircraft parts spiraling out of the sky.

“The nation mourns the heart-wrenching and soul-destroying tragedy involving the crash of the two helicopters at Lumut TLDM Base today,” Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in a statement on social media, referring to the Malaysian abbreviation for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Malaysia’s king, Sultan Ibrahim, said he was “deeply saddened over the loss of national heroes in this tragedy.”

The navy said it would investigate the cause of the collision. It asked the public not to circulate the video of the incident to protect the privacy of the family members involved. The defense minister, Khaled Nordin, told reporters that the authorities could consider delaying the anniversary celebration in the wake of the tragedy.

Last month, four people were rescued after a Malaysian coast guard helicopter crashed in the Strait of Malacca.

Tashny Sukumaran contributed reporting.

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