Location: Chukuba Village, Shiroro Local Government Area, Niger State, Nigeria.
A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-171 Helicopter crashed on August 14, 2023, near Chukuba Village in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. The helicopter was on a casualty evacuation mission, en route from Zungeru Primary School to Kaduna, when the incident occurred at approximately 1:00 pm. Efforts are underway to rescue the crew and passengers on board the helicopter, and preliminary investigations have been initiated to determine the probable cause of the crash.
Circumstances Surrounding the Crash:
According to the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Edward Gabkwet, the MI-171 Helicopter was on a casualty evacuation mission when the crash occurred. The aircraft had taken off from Zungeru Primary School and was en route to Kaduna before crashing near Chukuba Village. Efforts to rescue the crew and passengers are currently ongoing, and preliminary investigations are underway to ascertain the likely cause of the crash.
Contrary to initial speculations that the helicopter was targeted by armed bandits, it was revealed that the helicopter was actually on an evacuation mission to airlift injured troops who had engaged terrorists in several communities. The helicopter was not a fighter aircraft but was utilized for casualty evacuation purposes.
The helicopter had responded to distress calls from communities in Rafi, Wushishi, and Lavun local governments, which were under attack by terrorists. The bandits had raided villages, killed locals, and rustled cattle. Both air and ground forces were deployed to counter the threat. While the operations were initially successful in halting the terrorists’ activities, the helicopter crash occurred during a casualty evacuation mission after picking up injured troops from Niger State and heading to a military hospital in Kaduna.
The crash of the NAF MI-171 Helicopter near Chukuba Village in Niger State has been confirmed by the Nigerian Air Force. The aircraft was engaged in a casualty evacuation mission to transport injured troops from counterterrorism operations to a military hospital in Kaduna. Despite successful interventions against the terrorists, the helicopter crash occurred during the evacuation operation. Ongoing rescue efforts and preliminary investigations seek to determine the exact cause of the crash.