Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top police official, 3 officers die in Nigeria helicopter crash

The late Haruna

A police surveillance helicopter crashed in Jos on Wednesday, killing four persons on board, including a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, John Haruna.

The Commissioner of Police in Plateau, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, confirmed the incident and said:  "The four people on board, including a DIG, were all killed''.

He said the DIG's orderly, the pilot and an engineer were also killed.

An eyewitness said the helicopter crashed into a house, where a baby was confirmed injured, while an unspecified number of casualties were rushed to Air Force Military Hospital, Jos.

News Agency of Nigeria learnt that the helicopter was deployed for surveillance over hot spots in Jos following renewed hostilities in the area.

Abuja - Four senior police officers, including the deputy police chief, died on Wednesday in a helicopter crash in Nigeria.

A police spokesman said Haruna John, who led police operations and was promoted to the deputy police chief post two weeks ago, died in the crash in central city of Jos.

Witness Miriam Bako told dpa that the helicopter he was travelling in exploded in the air.

'The victims were burnt beyond recognition,' Bako said. 'A rescue mission was attempted by local residents using cutlasses and daggers to cut the plane by the time the first body came out, we knew they were all dead.'

Police have increased their reliance on helicopters after radical Islamist group Boko Haram stepped up attacks against civilians.

On Sunday, the group claimed responsibility for the killing of 10 people in a suicide attack on St Finbarr's Catholic church in Jos.

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