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Drone Not Helicopter Crashed In Kaduna – Air Force

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Monday denied a supposed helicopter crash near Rumji Village in Kaduna State.

The Director of Public Relations and Information for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, who issued a statement in Abuja, said it was a drone and not a helicopter that crashed.

Earlier in the day there were reports, particularly on social media, that an Air Force helicopter had crashed but the pilot escaped unhurt.

However, the statement says, “Contrary to reports on social media as well as on a handful of traditional media outlets that a NAF helicopter had crashed in Kaduna earlier today, 1 July 2024, be informed that no helicopter crash occurred.

“Instead, a NAF Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) experienced a mishap after take-off for a mission, at a location near Rumji Village and about 15 Km from Base.

“Since it is an unmanned vehicle, there were no casualties on board or on the ground. Preliminary investigations have since commenced to ascertain what may have caused the mishap.

“Nigerians can rest assured that this minor setback will not, in any way, impinge on all ongoing operations.”

Gabkwet emphasised that preliminary investigations had commenced to determine the cause of the mishap. He assured Nigerians that operations were ongoing without disruption due to this minor setback.

Gabkwet also expressed concern over the rush to report incomplete information as ‘breaking news,’ noting that some outlets incorrectly reported a helicopter crash without verifying details from NAF.

He urged the media to prioritise balanced reporting and seek clarification from authorised military sources before disseminating such information.

He said, “It should also be pointed out that the propensity to always rush to press in the name of ‘breaking news’ without a hold of the complete facts should be discouraged in its entirety.

“While the news of the crash filtered in, some outlets had misinformed Nigerians that a helicopter had crashed without the decency to clarify from the NAF.

“This attitude should be discouraged as it negates the principle of developmental journalism, balanced reporting and fairness. Members of the media are again advised to always seek clarification from authorised military outlets before rushing to ‘break’ the news.”

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