Six Pakistan servicemen including a senior commander were killed in a helicopter crash during flood relief operations in southwestern Pakistan, the military confirmed Tuesday.
Civilian authorities in Pakistan depend heavily on the army during natural calamities such as the floods which have swamped parts of the country this monsoon season.
A helicopter on relief operation in Balochistan was reported missing Monday night with six passengers and crew — including one of the army’s top commanders, Lieutenant-General Sarfraz Ali.
In a statement Tuesday, the military said all aboard had died in a crash they attributed to bad weather.
“All the six officers and soldiers… embraced shahadat (martyrdom),” it said.
The wreckage of unfortunate hel which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 offrs & sldrs incl Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat. اِنّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations . DTF pic.twitter.com/dnyano2vqC
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 2, 2022
Fierce monsoon rains and deadly flooding have hit Pakistan hard this year — particularly in Balochistan province, bordering Iran and Afghanistan.
At least 478 people have died so far, including 136 in Balochistan.