Bangladesh Army General dies in a helicopter crash

At least two military officers including a major general was killed Monday after a military helicopter crashed in central Tangail district, officials said.

“The army helicopter crashed in a pond killling a major general and a lieutenant colonel, who was piloting the craft,” Tangail district police chief Mohammad Abdul Mannan told Gulf News as he was reached here by telephone.

He added that the helicopter was carrying three passengers and of them one army major survived with critical wounds but it could not be ascertained immediately what caused the crash.

Wreckage of the army helicopter that crashed at Rouha in Kalihati upazila of Tangail district yesterday morning. Inset, deceased Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam, left, and pilot Lt Col MD Shahidul Islam.

Army sources confirmed that general officer commanding of the army’s western Jessore area Major General Rafiqul Islam and pilot Lieutenant Colonel Shahid were killed in the crash.

They said co-pilot of the helicopter major Saif, was sent to Dhaka’s Combined Military Hospital with serious injuries.

“The accident took place when the helicopter hit an electric pole and plunged into a small pond causing instantaneous death of the army officers,” an Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) statement later said.

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It said the helicopter was flying to central Mymensingh Cantonment from Jessore cantonment to pick up the GOC of 19 infantry division for a conference at army headquarters in Dhaka.

Rafiqul Islam who joined as GOC of 55 Infantry Division in March 2007, also played the key role in resolving the menacing waterlogging problem at Bhabadaho of Jessore, reforms of Benapole landport, preparation of national ID card and improving law and order situation in the outlaw-infested south-western region after one-eleven changeover in the country.

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