ISLAMABAD – An MI-17 helicopter of Pakistan Army crashed in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region on Wednesday, killing five persons on board who were returning from a sortie to Gyari sector of Siachen, the military said.

The helicopter of the army’s aviation wing was on its way back from the Gyari sector when it caught fire and crashed at the airport in Skardu town, police officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.

“According to initial report, five persons including a pilot embraced shahadat (martyrdom),” in the crash, the military said in a statement. It added three others, including a pilot, were injured.

Further details including the nature of the fault that led to the crash were not immediately available. The army’s aviation wing has a base at Skardu, one of the main towns of Gilgit-Baltistan region.

According to an Inter Servies Public Relations (ISPR) statement, an Army aviation helicopter crashed at Skardu Airport in Gilgit Baltistan on Wednesday, killing at least five officials including two pilots on board.

As per initial reports, the chopper MI-17 was on a test flight when the incident took place around 5:00 pm in Skardu. Five on board including pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash at the Airport.