Engine failure caused the crash, says foreign secretary

Pakistani soldiers gather beside an army helicopter at a military hospital where victims of a helicopter crash were brought for treatment in Gilgit on May 8, 2015. ─ AFP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that helicopter crash at Naltar Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan happened due to an engine failure and ruled out the possibility of any terrorist activity.

While addressing a press briefing, the foreign secretary expressed his grief and extended condolences over the sad demise of foreign dignitaries in the incident.

The trip was of diplomatic nature and was planned to highlight the development activities in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, said Chaudhry. There was an event to inaugurate Ski chairlift by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which Islamabad based diplomats along with their wives were also invited.

Four helicopters were carrying diplomats and officers to the event and one of them carrying 19 people, including high-level diplomats, met an accident just yards away from its landing site, said the foreign secretary.

Of the 19 people on board at the time of crash, there were 12 dignitaries, two pilots and five crew members, he added.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry addressing a press briefing in Islamabad.

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