International Red Cross chopper crashes in Kashmir

An International Committee of the Red Cross helicopter crashed in Pakistan's part of Kashmir on Thursday and the two South African pilots on board were injured, officials said.

The chopper went down at 11:56 a.m. (0656 GMT) in the Neelum Valley and the pilots were being evacuated to Islamabad for treatment, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to media.

The crash was the fourth of a chopper involved in relief efforts for the Oct. 8 earthquake that killed more than 80,000 people.

The pilots, both South Africans, were the only people on board the helicopter, said an army official who requested anonymity for the same reasons. He said both men were unconscious and were shifted to Islamabad by another Red Cross chopper.

ICRC spokeswoman Layla Berlemont Shtewi confirmed the crash, and said their medical teams "stabilized the injured pilot and the co-pilot, and they are being shifted to Islamabad."

"We don't know cause of the crash but it happened near Muzaffarabad," she told The Associated Press, referring to the main town in Pakistan's part of Kashmir. She did not give the nationalities of the injured men, reports the AP.


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