Zimbabwe air force helicopter crashes near capital, 4 killed


HARARE, Zimbabwe — An air force helicopter crashed into a house in Zimbabwe on Friday, killing three crew members and a child at the crash site, the Air Force of Zimbabwe said.

A young girl and a woman were rushed to hospital with burn injuries, according to the statement by the air force. Two pilots and a technician died in the crash, the air force said.

The Agusta Bell AB 412 helicopter went down in Arcturas, a village about 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of the capital, Harare, after leaving Manyame airbase by the Harare airport on a training flight.

“When contact could not be established with the aircraft, the base activated a search and rescue operation. We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives after the unfortunate accident,” Air Force Commander Elson Moyo said in the statement. The air force is investigating the cause of the crash.

Pictures published in local media showed the smoldering wreckage of the helicopter by a house with a torn roof. Standersby took images of the crash with the mobile phones.

An instructor and a student pilot died in November last year after an Air Force of Zimbabwe plane crashed during a training session in the midlands city of Gweru.

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