Written by Staff Writer
03 Jan, 2020 | 8:47 pm
Colombo (News 1st): An aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force, crashed in Haputale this morning, claiming the lives of four members of the Sri Lanka Air Force.
A CCTV camera nearby recorded how the Y-12 aircraft belonging to the Sri Lanka Air Force was operating in the Haputale area, at around 9:15 this morning. Several seconds later, the aircraft crashed.
The aircraft had caught fire while crashing, killing all four Air force personnel on board, including two pilots and two observers. Subsequently, the fire was doused with the support of the Air Force, police, and locals. However, they were unable to rescue anyone onboard.
Our correspondent said the victims had sustained heavy injuries.
Due to the accident, a woman residing in a nearby house was also injured and admitted to the Haputale base hospital. The government analyst and Bandarawela Magistrate inspected the location where the accident occurred this evening.
The magistrate has ordered for the post mortem examination to be conducted on the four deceased individuals and for an investigative report on the aircraft crash. The magistrate has also ordered the Air Force to submit a report.
Meanwhile, the Air Force has appointed a team to carry out investigations into the crash of the aircraft. The aircraft had left the Weerawila Air Force base at around 8:55 this morning, to inspect the eastern coastal areas.
The reasons for the crash are yet to be ascertained.
What is a Y-12 aircraft?
According to the official website of the Sri Lanka Air force, the Y-12 aircraft manufactured in China was added to the local fleet in 1986. The aircraft that is capable of carrying between 15 to 17 passengers, can be used on short runways.
At the time the Sri Lanka Air Force operated Helitours, many criticized the utilization of these aircraft in its operations, as the Civil Aviation Authority had not granted approval for it, citing its safety conditions.
However, at present, Sri Lanka Air Force utilizes these aircraft for military purposes. The media spokesperson of Sri Lanka Air Force, Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne said these aircraft are used after confirming its safety conditions.
Parliament discusses the crash
Several statements were expressed in parliament with regard to the aircraft crash in Haputale.
State Minister of Defence Chamal Rajapaksa announced in the parliament that a crash had taken place when it collided on to a mountain during ground surveillance in Haputale. He noted that investigations are ongoing and that 2 pilots and 2 observers killed in the incident. He expressed their condolences and stressed that a thorough investigation is being carried out. He added that they will also keep the parliament informed. He expressed their sympathies to the families of those who were killed.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa also noted that the opposition, as well as everyone else, gathered at the parliament, expresses their condolences.
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