Tragic Mid-air Collision: Two Malaysian Naval Helicopters Crash During Training, Killing All 10 Crew

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Ten crew members died when two helicopters collided in mid-air during a training exercise at a Royal Malaysian Navy event on Tuesday. The tragic incident occurred at the Lumut naval base in Perak’s western state, where preparations were underway for the 90th Naval Day celebrations.

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The collision happened at 9:32 a.m. (local time), according to a statement from the navy. The victims were “confirmed dead at the scene and sent to the Lumut army base hospital for identification,” the navy added.

A video circulating on social media showed multiple helicopters in formation when one clipped the rotor of another, causing it to spiral to the ground. The Fennec M502-6 and HOM M503-3 helicopters were conducting a flyover training exercise when the crash occurred.

The HOM, carrying seven crew members, crashed onto the stairs of the navy stadium, while the Fennec, with three crew members, plunged into a swimming pool at the sports complex, according to The Star. The video footage captured helicopter fragments flying through the air and landing near an open field where navy personnel had gathered for the rehearsal.

Malaysia’s fire and rescue department rushed to the scene after being notified about the accident at 9:50 a.m. (local time).

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his condolences to the families affected by the tragedy. “The nation mourns the heart-wrenching tragedy involving the crash of two helicopters at Lumut TLDM Base today,” he posted on X. “This tragedy had a profound effect on the families of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and is a great loss for the country.”

Prime Minister Ibrahim added that an immediate investigation would be launched by the Ministry of Defense, including the Royal Malaysian Navy, to determine the cause of the crash.

The navy announced that it would establish an investigation board to determine what led to the fatal collision.

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