Malaysian Navy Helicopters Collide, Killing Ten

( A circulating video shows the whirling rotors of two helicopters came together over the Malaysian town of Lumut on April 23rd, bringing both craft down and killing everyone aboard both choppers.

The helicopters were owned and deployed by the Malaysian military and were conducting exercises in anticipation of a show honoring the Malaysian Navy’s 90th anniversary. A spokesman said “all victims were confirmed dead on site.”

The country’s defense minister Mohamed Khaled Norin said the planned celebratory event is now canceled and will be replaced by a ceremony with prayers for the dead this coming Friday.

According to local authorities, the dead included three women and 10 men, all between 26 and 41 years of age. Their identities have not yet been released.

A video claiming to be footage of the accident shows one craft making a sideways move that caused it to collide with the rotating blade of the other aircraft. They both fell to the ground after contacting each other, leaving wreckage so twisted it would be difficult to identify the remnants as belonging to a helicopter.

Malaysia’s navy said seven of the dead were traveling on an Italian helicopter called an AW139, designed for marine work. The other three people were on board an Airbus chopper called a Fennec.

One of the helicopters went down in an empty athletic field while another crashed into a swimming pool, injuring a swimmer.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the entire country was in mourning over the tragic crash, and the military is already investigating the cause of the crash. Nothing is yet known about what caused the deadly mishap.

Military helicopters have been in the news frequently over the past several months. In December 2023, a U.S. military V22 Osprey crashed in Japan killing all eight crew members. That was the fourth deadly Osprey crash in less than two years. The Osprey is an unusual craft that combines the features of a helicopter and a fixed-wing traditional airplane. It can lift off vertically as a helicopter and then rotate its engines to fly at speeds close to what conventional aircraft achieve.

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