16 Apr 2014 06:30am
GROOTFONTEIN, 16 APR (NAMPA) The six people who died in a Namibian Defence Force (NDF) helicopter crash shortly after it took off last Friday at the Grootfontein Airport, have been identified.
The NDFs Air Force Commander, Air Vice-Marshall Martin Pinehas announced the names of the deceased and injured at a memorial service at the Grootfontein Military Base on Tuesday afternoon.
Pinehas said nine people were on board during the accident.
As usual, on that fateful day, the Z-9 helicopter was flown by a senior pilot, Elifas Simon Angala, together with his flight officer Evangeline Naufiku Nghimwenavali, he explained.
Pinehas said after the helicopter successfully took off, it suddenly came down, crashed on the ground surface and burst into flames at about 05h05.
Among the nine occupants in the helicopter were two minor children.
The 28-year-old Nghimwenavali, Wilka Ndanyengwa Sheya, 27, and Toini Nekulilo Martin, 52, died on the spot.
Martin was a member of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and mother of the NDF Air Traffic Controller at Grootfontein, Martin Shoopala.
Three-year-old Mcvince Mwiya, who died later at a hospital in Grootfontein, was the son of one of the general labourers at the military base here.
Hendrick Amalwa, 6, also died later at a hospital in Windhoek, where he was hospitalised.
Amalwa is a nephew of Martin, said Pinehas.
Angala, 36, who was flying the helicopter, sustained serious bodily injuries and died on Tuesday afternoon in the Katutura State Hospital.
The other three injured people who were also on board are still in critical conditions at different hospitals in Windhoek.
They were identified as Werner Nashilundo, 35, Nabot Kamati, 35, and Johanna Hailaula, 31.
Pinehas said the NDF helicopter was on its way to up Defence Minister Nahas Angula from Windhoek so that he could officiate at a graduation ceremony for Air Force students here on that Friday.
This Nampa journalist was taken to the scene where the Z-9 NDF helicopter had crashed.
Its first impact on the ground is seen more than 100 metres away from where the wreck came to a standstill.
The cause of the accident is still unknown, and investigations are being conducted.