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Turkey blames bad weather for helicopter crash which killed 11, deadliest since 2017

Published: Updated:

Turkey’s Ministry of Defense blamed bad weather for the military helicopter crash that killed 11 personnel, including a high ranking commander.

Nine of the victims died at the crash site and two succumbed to their wounds in hospital, officials said.

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“Based on initial information and witnesses' statements, we determined that the accident occurred due to suddenly changing adverse weather conditions,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akara said.

On Thursday, the Defense ministry said on-site searches "determined that the helicopter was damaged by an accident," but provided no further details. Contact with the Cougar-type helicopter was lost 30 minutes after takeoff.

The crash was the deadliest since a military helicopter crashed in the southeastern Sirnak province near Turkey's border with Syria and Iraq, killing 13 soldiers in 2017.

Thursday’s helicopter crashed in the town of Tatvan, in the predominantly Kurdish-populated Bitlis province. The location is in an area where Turkish troops have been combating militants of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984. The PKK is considered to be a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

- With Agencies

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