Military Helicopter Crash In Azerbaijan Leaves 14 Troops Dead

The Azerbaijan State Border Services stated that a military helicopter of the State Border Service crashed during a training flight at the Garaheybet air polygon in the Khizi district on Tuesday, November 30, at 10:40 a.m. local time.

The Mi-17 type military helicopter, belonging to the Border Services, took off from Sangachal Airport at 10:16 local time for training purposes, and the helicopter crashed w20 minutes later at 10.36 am while landing at the Karaheybet air training ground in the Khizi district, according to Azerbaijan State Border Service President Elçin Guliyev.

Colonel general Elchin Guliyev, the Chief of State Border Service of Azerbaijan Republic, said:

“The pilot was one of our more experienced pilots. The helicopter is almost brand new. It was recently serviced. The black box was discovered and is now in the custody of the Chief Prosecutor. We are unable to make any definitive statements at this time. The cause of the accident will become clearer as a result of the investigations. We can, however, state that there are no external factors.”

According to Attorney General Spokesperson Gunay Salimzadeh, there was no outside interference in the helicopter crash, and the State Border Service management and the Attorney General’s Office “are examining in detail all possibilities regarding the pilot’s negligence, the technical malfunction of the helicopter, the weather conditions, and any other reason.”

While 14 soldiers died in the accident, including a colonel, a lieutenant colonel, 5 majors, 4 captains, 2 lieutenants, and 1 technical worker, the treatment of two survivors, a lieutenant colonel and a captain, is still ongoing in the hospital where they were taken. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, expressed his condolences to the families and relatives of the soldiers killed in the accident.

Azerbaijan experienced the worst helicopter crash in its history on November 20, 1991. A helicopter carrying government official crashed near the town of Karakand in the Khojavend district. The crash claimed the lives of 22 individuals, including Foreign Minister Tofig Ismayilov, Chief Prosecutor Ismat Gayibov, Interior Minister Mohammed Esedov, and others.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Ambassador to Azerbaijan James Sharp, Dutch Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pauline Eizema, French Ambassador Zacharie Gross, Israel’s Ambassador George Deek, the Iranian Embassy to Azerbaijan, Turkish Ambassador Cahit Bağcı, and other Turkish officials have also expressed their condolences following the crash.