The Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations on Monday reported that an Army helicopter carrying six persons, including Commander 12 Corps Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, lost communication with air traffic control in Balochistan’s Lasbela district.
The military’s media wing stated on Twitter that the aviation helicopter was on a flood relief mission in Lasbela, Balochistan, when it lost touch with air traffic control (ATC).
“Six individuals were on board, including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan,” Pakistan military’s media wing tweeted.
A Pakistan army aviation helicopter which was on flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan lost contact with ATC. 6 individuals were on board including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan. Search operation is underway.DTF
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 1, 2022
According to reports, the helicopter took off from Uthal. It was transporting a number of high-ranking personnel, including Corp Commander Quetta Lt. General Sarfraz Ali.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Khuzdar Range Pervez Umrani informed Dawn that police and Frontier Corps soldiers have been conducting a combined search operation for the last five hours.
According to police officials, the location where the chopper went missing was rugged terrain with no jeep tracks, making search and rescue efforts exceedingly difficult.
“Either you go on foot or motorcycles or conduct aerial surveillance,” a senior official was quoted by Dawn in its report.
As word of the helicopter’s disappearance spread, numerous influential people showed their worry and prayed for everyone on board to be safe.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif responded to the issue on Twitter.
“The disappearance of Army Aviation helicopter from Balochistan is alarming. The entire nation prays to Allah Almighty for the safety, security and return of these sons of the country who came out to help the flood victims. God willing,” he tweeted.
بلوچستان سے آرمی ایوی ایشن کے ہیلی کاپٹر کی گمشدگی تشویشناک ہے۔ پوری قوم اللہ تعالیٰ کے حضور سیلاب متاثرین کی مدد پر نکلنے والے وطن کے ان بیٹوں کی سلامتی، حفاظت اور بخیریت واپسی کے لئے دعا گو ہے۔ ان شاءاللہ
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 1, 2022
“Disturbing news of army aviation helicopter missing and praying for all those on board,” Former PM Imran Khan tweeted.
Disturbing news of army aviation helicopter missing and praying for all those on board.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 1, 2022
The civil authorities and the Pakistan Army are now working on relief efforts in the province after a torrential rainstorm caused devastation and claimed 147 lives.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited flood-affected districts of Balochistan, including Qilla Saifullah, Chaman, and Quetta, to speak with people.