Ten dead as two Navy helicopters collide in Malaysia

Ten dead as two Navy helicopters collide in Malaysia

Ten people have died after two Malaysian military helicopters collided and crashed during a training session.

The helicopters were rehearsing at a naval base in northern Perak state for the navy's 90th anniversary celebration next month when the accident occurred, the Royal Malaysian Navy said in a brief statement.

Footage shows several helicopters flying in formation, when one of the choppers' rotor clipped another before both aircraft crashed into the ground shortly after 9.30am (2.30am BST) on Tuesday.

"All victims were confirmed dead on site," a navy statement said, adding that the remains have been sent to the hospital to be identified.

Seven crew members were aboard the AW139 maritime operation helicopter, the navy said.

That aircraft is produced by AgustaWestland, which is a subsidiary of the Italian defence contractor Leonardo.

Three other crew members were on a Fennec lightweight helicopter, manufactured by European multinational defence conglomerate Airbus.

Local media reported that the AW139 crashed at a sports complex at the naval base, while the Fennec hit a nearby swimming pool.

The navy said it will launch an investigation to determine what caused the accident.

In a separate statement the Royal Malaysian Navy said: “Condolences to all the families of the victims of the accident involving two TLDM helicopters at TLDM Lumut Base today.

“May the victim's families be given the strength to deal with this tragedy.”

In March, a Malaysian coast guard helicopter crashed into the sea off Malaysia's Angsa Island during a training flight.

The pilot, co-pilot and two passengers on board were found and rescued by fishermen.