Five killed in South Africa helicopter crash at Kruger National Park

Five killed in South Africa helicopter crash at Kruger park

Five members of the South African military have died in a helicopter crash after they were patrolling the Kruger National Park looking for rhino poachers on Saturday.

Officials said the evening patrol was routine and that an investigation is under way.

Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga of the South Africa National Defence Force told "The helicopter was on a scheduled aerial patrol of the Kruger National Park as part of Operation RHINO, the anti-rhino poaching operation, in the Kruger National Park."

He said a South African Air Force Agusta A109 light utility helicopter crashed at about 7pm killing five members on board.

"A preliminary investigation is currently underway to establish the sequence of events that led to the fatal crash of the helicopter," Mabanga added.

The ministry of defence extended condolences to the families of the deceased.

The BBC reports that the poaching of rhinos in South Africa is rampant. Their horns are sold in Asia, where some people believe they have medicinal purposes, although there is no evidence to support this.

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