The crew and ten passengers aboard an Angolan Air Force helicopter, a Russian Mi-171Sh, have had a lucky escape, after it crashed on take-off. The accident happened in Caiundo, in the southeastern province of Kuando-Kubango.
Witnesses say the crew and passengers walked away with minor injuries though the aircraft and its cargo exploded minutes later. Military sources attributed the crash to pilot error. One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Maka Angola that the pilot failed to achieve sufficient height on take-off and as he maneuvered, he hit trees obscured by the dust cloud lifted by the helicopter blades.
The aircraft was delivered in June last year as part of investment to modernize the Angolan Air Force. It was carrying five Air Force personnel, three election agents and two policemen. They had been delivering materials for the August 23 general election. Witnesses said the election kits were destroyed in the crash.
*Updated from the original Portuguese version.