A Pakistan Navy helicopter crashed near Gwadar in Balochistan on Monday, with all three personnel onboard martyred.
In a statement, Director General of Public Relations (Navy) confirmed the incident. “A Pakistan Navy helicopter, engaged in a regular training mission, encountered an accident in the Gwadar area. Three crew members embraced shahadat during the incident,” it said, adding it was possible the crash occurred due to a technical fault. However, it said, an investigation had been initiated to ascertain the exact cause of the crash.
News agency AFP, citing a military source, said a Sea King aircraft had crashed during takeoff at around 10 a.m. It claimed the crash occurred due to an engine fire, with the aircraft losing its rear tail, according to a preliminary report.
The incident drew mass condemnations and condolences for the lives lost. In a statement, interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar prayed for the grieving families and conveyed his condolences for the soldiers who perished. Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti, similarly, paid tribute to the “brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.” He also prayed for the departed souls and their families.
President Arif Alvi, in a separate statement posted on X, offered prayers for the departed souls and commended the Navy’s contributions in service to the nation.
Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed his sorrow over the deadly crash. “Martyrs are making great sacrifices for the country and people,” he wrote on Twitter, as he also prayed for the high ranks of the martyrs and the patience of the bereaved.
Monday’s crash is the third such incident over the past year. Last September, six soldiers were martyred after their helicopter crashed in Khost, also in Balochistan. A month prior to that, six soldiers had similarly been martyred when their helicopter crashed during flood relief operations in Lasbela.