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Pakistan Military Confirms Top General, 5 Others Killed in Helicopter Crash

FILE - People wade through a flooded road after heavy rains, in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2022.

Pakistan said Tuesday rescue teams had found the wreckage of a military helicopter that crashed overnight due to bad weather in flood-hit southwestern Baluchistan province, killing all six senior officers on board.

A military statement said Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, a regional corps commander, a major-general, and one brigadier were among the dead.

Officials said Ali and his team were supervising flood relief operations in Lasbela district, about 500 kilometers south of the provincial capital, Quetta, when their helicopter lost contact with air traffic control late Monday afternoon.

“As per initial finding, the accident occurred due to bad weather,” the statement said, promising to share further information after a detailed investigation into the crash.

Weeks of unusually heavy seasonal monsoon rains and subsequent flooding have killed scores of people and destroyed thousands of homes across Baluchistan, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The devastation has prompted the military and the Pakistan navy to mobilize their personnel and assets to assist in civilian relief operations in the province, evacuating thousands of marooned people and delivering food and necessary items to victim families.

Authorities said the nationwide death toll from rain-related incidents across the country had risen close to 500 since June. Monsoon rains in Pakistan usually run from July through September.