M'sian helicopter crash that left 10 dead was on 3rd practice run for parade: Defence minister

All 10 crew members were aged below 40.

Daniel Seow | April 24, 2024, 04:25 PM



The fatal mid-air collision between two Malaysian Navy helicopters which killed all 10 aboard occurred during a third practice run for a parade rehearsal, said Malaysian defence minister Khaled Nordin on Apr. 23.

Nordin, speaking at a press conference, also revealed that all 10 victims were aged below 40 years, Malaysian media reported.

They were all navy officers or members based in Lumut, Perak and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The crash

The incident took place at the Royal Malaysia Navy base in Lumut on Apr. 23.

The two helicopters, an Agusta Westland AW139 and a Eurocopter Fennec, had been undergoing formation flypast training for the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Malaysian Navy, New Straits Times reported.

They were on their third practice run when the collision took place at around 9:32am.

The Agusta, holding seven crew members, crashed on the stairs at the stadium field in the base, The Star reported.

The Fennec helicopter, with its crew of three, crashed into the swimming pool in the sports complex.

There were no survivors from the crash, the Malaysian fire department said in a statement later that day.

An investigation board will be set up to determine the cause of the incident, Nordin told Malaysian media.

The aftermath

Following the tragedy, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his condolences to all the victim's families in a Facebook post.

He described the incident as a "heartbreaking and soul-wrenching tragedy".

Malaysia's King, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar of Johor, also expressed his condolences and urged a full investigation by the armed forces.

The incident also led to the cancellation of the Royal Malaysian Navy's anniversary celebrations and parade, which was originally scheduled for Apr. 26 (Friday).

In place of that, a prayer ceremony will be held at the An-Nur Mosque at the Lumut base before Friday prayers, according to the Selangor Royal Office Facebook page.

This marks the deadliest helicopter accident in Malaysia since May 5, 2016, when a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter crashed in Sarawak, killing six.

Top image from Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia.