Military helicopter crashes in Istanbul, killing four

A military helicopter crashed in the Çekmeköy district of Istanbul on Monday evening, killing four soldiers, Turkish news site HaberTürk has reported.

The helicopter crashed at 6:51 p.m. local time (GMT+3) after attempting an emergency landing. The crash followed a similar accident that took place on November 26 in the same part of the city.

Both helicopters were Bell UH-1 models belonging to Turkey’s Fourth Army Aviation Regiment, which is based in the Sancaktepe district neighbouring Çekmeköy. Four soldiers were killed in the crash in November.

The four soldiers in the helicopter on Monday were rushed to hospital where they died of their injuries, Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a statement on the crash.

The governor said the cause of the accident was not known, and added that no civilians had been harmed in it.

At the time of Yerlikaya’s statement, respondents to the site were awaiting an accident investigation team at the Parkverde housing estate in Çekmeköy’s Kirazlı neighbourhood, where the helicopter crashed after attempting an emergency landing.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence said an investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched.

An eyewitness told HaberTürk he had seen the helicopter’s rotorblades catch fire and smoke pouring out of the enginer before the accident.

As new footage of the helicopter crash emerged and was broadcast on Turkish news channels, a glimpse of the intense anti-American sentiment in Turkey slipped through in a statement from Salik Nayman, an anchor on the popular pro-government channel A Haber.

"If only these images were of American soldiers," Nayman said.
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