A military helicopter crash in Guyana resulted in the deaths of 5 officers and 2 survivors

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Five military officers aboard a helicopter that crashed near the border with Venezuela have died and two others survived, the Guyana government said Thursday.

The military helicopter disappeared on Wednesday About 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of the Venezuelan border during bad weather transport officers carrying out a routine inspection of troops in a forested area. Searchers found the wreckage on Thursday.

“My heart aches and sinks with sadness over the tragic (loss) of some of our finest men in uniform,” President Irfaan Ali said in a statement posted on social media, describing the loss as “priceless.”

Ali said that the dead were a retired brigadier general, a colonel, and two lieutenant colonels. Among the survivors was the co-pilot, and their condition was not immediately known.

Premier Mark Phillips said authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the helicopter crash, and officials confirmed during a news conference on Wednesday that there was no indication of any hostile fire.

“We have to find out what happened. The search and rescue operation has now moved to search and recovery,” Phillips told the Associated Press.

Army Commander Brig. The Guyana Defense Forces lost contact with the new Bell 412 EPI aircraft after it took off from the Olive Creek settlement in western Guyana following a refueling stop, General Omar Khan told reporters late on Wednesday.

The incident, which occurred in the mountainous and densely forested region, is the worst in Guyana’s military history.

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This happened during an escalating diplomatic dispute with Venezuela over a vast region known as Essequibo, which is rich in minerals and located near huge oil deposits. The region borders Venezuela, which claims Essequibo as its own.

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