NUR-SULTAN – Thirteen soldiers were killed when their Mil Mi-8 helicopter crashed during night-time maneuvers in bad weather in southern Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Wednesday.
Tokayev said on his Twitter account that all the occupants of the helicopter died as it flew over the Kizilordinsk region, bordering Uzbekistan.
“I have ordered an investigation,” the president said, adding that the families of the dead would receive material assistance.
The crash occurred when the Mil Mi-8, which was part of a squadron of four helicopters, was flying from the Caspian Sea port of Aktau to Shymkent in eastern Kazakhstan.
The helicopters, which were transporting Kazakh special unit forces, was carrying out night flight maneuvers in bad weather conditions when the accident occurred.
Two of the helicopters arrived at their destination, while a third turned around and went to the scene of the accident.