School (closed for day) that was set alight in helicopter crash Naltat (Gilgit) (image “TY Khan” content editor for Dunya Network)
The latest and 3rd statement from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) raises further questions as to the cause of the MI-17 helicopter crash in Naltat, Gilgit in an attack allegedly aimed at the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. TTP claim their target was travelling in a second helicopter so remained unharmed. Several foreign dignitaries with their wives were killed and injured along with 2 pilots. A school (fortunately closed for the day) was also set alight in the incident.
Dawn media quoted a military official as saying, “the crash occurred after 11 hours of flying following regular servicing” and was initially put down to “a technical fault when landing”. The latest TTP statement alleges “the helicopter was turning due to which the missile hit the tail rotor of the helicopter so it did not get destroyed fully in the air”.
TTP first statement, see following link for earlier story on the crash
“Pakistan Taliban: TTP allege attempt on life of PM Nawaz Sharif, claim he escaped as travelling in 2nd helicopter”
TTP 2nd statement on the crash, see link
“Helicopter incident: TTP release 2nd statement, threaten to target planes at appropriate time”
Site of crash (image “TY Khan” content editor for Dunya Network)
TTP 3rd statement on helicopter crash, see below
Video link of SAM 7-b missile used in Naltar (Gilgit) hitting helicopter of Pakistan army (statement)
“Missile information given by TIA (Taliban Intelligence Agency) and TEC (Taliban Engineering Commission).
Specification : Russian SAM-7 Model : SAM-7 B Guided Distance from target : Approx 3 Km.
Also as per one TIA member, the helicopter was turning due to which the missile hit the tail rotor of the helicopter so it did not get destroyed fully in the air.
Whether the govt of Pakistan believes this or not is not our concern. We will do similar attacks in the future. InshAllah (Allah willing).”
Get the video from the given link.
Initial Questions arising
1) Will there be an independent investigation into cause of crash
2) What video footage is available of the crash, showing different angles
3) What were the weather conditions
4) What eyewitness accounts are available
5) What was the state of the helicopter, maintenance record
6) Health, mental condition of pilots
7) What happened in the air
8) What happened on landing
9) How was the school set alight?
10) Will TTP claims be investigated
11) Will the report be published for public to read?
12) What is being done to support, compensate victims and their families
13) How can safety be improved for the future
“Tail rotor failure in flight”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.