ISLAMABAD — The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the Pakistan Army, confirmed on Tuesday that wreckage of an army helicopter on flood relief mission in Balochistan has been found and all six personnel aboard, including Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, have embraced martyrdom.
A helicopter of the Pakistan Army carrying six people went missing during flood relief mission in the Lasbela District in Balochistan on Monday. Its wreckage was found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. According to the ISPR, the helicopter crashed due to bad weather.
The military chopper went missing at 5:30 PM on Monday and lost contact with the air traffic controller shortly afterwards.
The ISPR identified the martyrs as Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali, Brig Amjad Hanif, Brig Muhammad Khalid, Maj Saeed Ahmed, Maj M. Talha Manan and Naik Mudassar Fayyaz.
The wreckage of unfortunate hel which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 offrs & sldrs incl Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat. اِنّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations . DTF pic.twitter.com/dnyano2vqC
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 2, 2022
A short video circulating on the internet showed a rescue team of the Pakistan Army at the crash scene collecting bodies of the martyrs. However, there’s no independent confirmation of the video.
— FAISAL KAYANI ADVOCATE (@FMADVOCATE1) August 2, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Arif Alvi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and people from different walks of life took to social media to express their grief at the tragic incident and offer their condolences to the grieving families.
Nation is deeply grieved on the martyrdom of Lt. General Sarfraz Ali & 5 other officers of Pakistan Army. They were doing a sacred duty of providing relief to flood affectees. Will remain eternally indebted to these sons of soil. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families!
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 2, 2022
Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi made a phone call to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and offered his condolences over the tragic death of six army officials in the helicopter crash.
صدر مملکت ڈاکٹر عارف علوی کا آرمی چیف سے ٹیلی فون پر رابطہ، ہیلی کاپٹر حادثے میں شہید ہونے والے فوجی افسران اور جوانوں کی شہادت پر گہرے رنج و غم کا اظہار۔ pic.twitter.com/eiX7CKPrvm
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) August 2, 2022
Tragic news about the army aviation helicopter crash & the martyrdom of all six on board. My condolences & prayers to the families of the martyrs. I had the privilege of knowing Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali whom I found to be a thorough professional & an upright, honest human being.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 2, 2022
As many parts of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab have been hit hard by floods after heavy monsoon rains in the country, the government has called in the armed forces of Pakistan to take part in the rescue and relief operations.
Heavy rains have broken a 30 years old record in Pakistan. At least 132 people have been killed in Pakistan floods so far and dozens more are feared dead in the submerged areas.
In the past, Pakistan Army helicopters have crashed and these crashes have resulted in huge losses to the country. On May 8, 2015, a Pakistan Army helicopter crashed in Natlar, Gilgit-Baltistan. Eight people died in this incident, including ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines.