By Bulama Kaka
The Nigerian Air Force has confirmed the death of five crew members, including two pilots and three personnel in the helicopter crash which occurred in Damasak, Borno State, late on Wednesday.
The deceased are identified as; Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob, pilot in command; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Kilyofas, co-pilot; Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim, flight technician; Lance corporal Adamu Nura, gunner, and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael, gunner.
A statement signed by NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, confirmed their deaths on Thursday, noting that their remains had been deposited in Maiduguri, Borno State.
An attack helicopter of the NAF deployed in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents had been reported to have been lost in combat.
The NAF’s spokesman, Daramola, had said, “A Nigerian Air Force helicopter was lost in combat while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion at Damasak in Northern Borno State. The mission was part of the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North-East.
“The incident occurred about 7:45pm on January 2. Details of the cause of the crash are still scanty. As soon as the details of the crash are known, they will be made available to the public.”