An Airbus H145M (Illustration)- Photo: Flickr

Hungarian military helicopter crashes in Croatia

A Hungarian military helicopter crashed in Croatia while performing a training exercise, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

One of two Airbus H145 helicopters crashed over central Croatia with three troops on board. The reasons behind the tragedy are as yet unknown. Two bodies have been found so far, the ministry said. The families are being notified, the statement said.

President Katalin Novak expressed her condolences to the families of the soldiers and thanked the Croatian rescue teams for their efforts.

“My sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers who died in the helicopter accident,” the president said on Facebook. “Hungary stands with you.”

Novak thanked the Croatian rescue teams for their efforts and Croatian President Zoran Milanovic for his support, who she said expressed his condolences by phone.

Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky also voiced his condolences, adding that his ministry would arrange for the funeral rites.

The minister said a search for the third crew member was under way. He added that a committee from the Croatian air force, the country’s chief of staff, and political leaders were at the site.

Gabor Borondi, chief of staff of the Hungarian military, and an expert team are on their way to Croatia, the minister said. Details of the accident will be made public once the investigation is completed, he added.

The minister declined to comment on press reports suggesting that the helicopter had collided with a steel cable.

Before the investigation is concluded, the Hungarian military will not fly its helicopters of the same type, Szalay-Bobrovniczky answered to another question.

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