Two ambassadors killed in Pakistan helicopter crash; Dutch ambassador hurt

Pakistan army helicopter (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Waqas Usman)Pakistan army helicopter (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Waqas Usman)

With reporting by Zack Newmark. The Dutch ambassador to Pakistan was injured in a helicopter crash that killed two pilots and four foreigners, among them the ambassadors to Pakistan from the Philippines, Domingo D. Lucenario Jr., and Norway, Leif H. Larsen. The wives of both the Indonesian and Malaysian ambassadors were also killed, according to a representative of the Pakistani military.

The Polish ambassador to Pakistan, Andrzej Ananiczolish, was also hurt in the crash. The Mil Mi-17 Russian-made military helicopter, with six Pakistanis and 11 diplomats on board, was headed towards the opening of a development project when it crashed. "Netherlands ambassador Marcel de Vink was wounded in [the] Pakistan helicopter crash," the Dutch foreign ministry confirmed. "The ministry and embassy are in close contact with Pakistani authorities." "Saddened by tragic Naltar helicopter crash killing diplomats, envoys' wives & Pak army pilots & 4 citizens My condolences go to the families," Pakistani politician and former cricket player Imran Khan said on Twitter. A second Mi-17 helicopter also crashed, with all passengers and crew surviving. Three onboard were hurt in that incident. No problems were reported with a third helicopter traveling with the others. The helicopters were on their way to a school in the north of Pakistan. The crash is believed to have taken place at the school, broadcaster NOS reported. The cause of the accident is still unknown. A journalist in one of the helicopters said that a fire started after the crash. The school visit was part of a three-day schedule through the Gilgit-Baltistan territory, which included a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Reuters reported.