Update: Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Friday ruled out the possibility of terrorism in the tragedy and said that the crash occurred due to a technical failure of the engine of the helicopter.
The ambassadors of Philippines and Norway and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors were killed on Friday when a Pakistan Army helicopter crashed on a school in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa tweeted that two pilots were also killed in the crash.
One MI-17 heli out of 3 carrying visitors had a crash landing at Naltar.Total 11 foreigners and 6 Pakistani passengers on board-1/3— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) May 8, 2015
The Polish and Dutch ambassadors were wounded in the crash, reports said. Earlier, in a series of tweets, Bajwa said that six Pakistanis and 11 foreigners were on board the MI-17 helicopter.
Earlier reports indicated that the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsiblity for the crash.
Three helicopters were carrying a delegation of foreign diplomats and their wives and aides to Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dead incl Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, Philippines Amb Domingo Lucenario Jr, and wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors.— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) May 8, 2015
“It was a diplomatic trip with members of 37 countries in total,” said a passenger in one of the helicopters, who requested anonymity, adding that the school caught fire after the chopper crashed on it.
Photo: #Gilgit #Pakistan helicopter crash site - @metesohtaoglu pic.twitter.com/1GBzfRhAGg— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) May 8, 2015
“We have been told to send in as many ambulances as we can because the situation there is urgent,” a senior official had said.
The countries whose ambassadors have been killed are seeking more information regarding the incident and that is being provided to them. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to visit Gilgit on Friday for the inauguration of two projects.