The death of five British Military troops in a helicopter crash believed to be a ‘tragic accident’ in southern Afghanistan has sparked an investigation.
According AFP, the helicopter crashed during a routine flight in Kandahar province on Saturday, causing the third biggest single loss of life for British troops in the country.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has ruled out claims by the Taliban insurgents that they shot down the helicopter.
He says initial investigation points towards a technical fault during the routine flights.
“The investigation is now underway, and the area of the crash has been cordoned off,” an MoD spokeswoman said on Sunday.
“We cannot go into further details. At this stage it is not known how long the investigation might last or when investigators will deliver their report, but it will be a thorough inquiry.”
Major General Richard Felton, commander of the British armed forces’ Joint Helicopter Command said the incident, “at this early stage, would appear to have been a tragic accident”.
The loss, which comes just before the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan comes to an end in December after 13 years, brings the total number of British fatalities to 453, according to AFP.
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron described the deaths as a “terrible tragedy”.
Local officials in southern Afghanistan told AFP the helicopter came down in Takhta Pul and was not attacked by militants.
“It was doing military exercises and crashed as a result of technical fault,” said Zia Durrani, the provincial police spokesman.
However, the Taliban said on a recognised Twitter account that it had targeted the helicopter and the “wreckage caught fire as it smashed onto the ground, killing all invaders on board”.