All the members of a Kuwait armed forces delegation led by chief of staff Lieutenant General Mohammed Khaled Al Khadher were safe after a Bangladesh Air Force helicopter carrying them had crash-landed about 100 feet away from its designated helipad at Srimangal in Moulvibazar on Wednesday morning.
The Russian-made Mi-171Sh chopper with 21 people on board, including the 10-member Kuwait delegation, made the emergency landing at 10:10am, officials said.
The visiting General Al Khadher told reporters in a Dhaka hotel on their return that they were ‘safe and in good health’ and thanked both civil and military services for their evacuation efforts.
The general from the oil-rich Middle Eastern country lauded professionalism of medical and fire services teams alongside the armed forces.
He added that they understood it was due to bad weather.
‘Within five minutes they managed to open the door and evacuated all of us,’ said General Al Khadher.
The delegation took road transports to return to their hotel in Dhaka where Bangladesh chiefs of three services General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq, Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed and Air Marshal Abu Esrar called on them in the evening. Kuwait ambassador in Dhaka Adel Mohammed AH Hayat and senior officials of Bangladesh army were present.
The delegation told the press that Kuwait Ameer and other top officials were concerned about what happened to them.
Bangladesh’s Air Marshal Abu Esrar told the Kuwait delegation that the flight safety records of Bangladeshi pilots was ‘very very high’.
The two pilots, Wing Commander Omar and Flight Lieutenant Mehedi, and all passengers could come out of the helicopter after ‘the emergency landing’, said a release of Inter Services Public Relation Directorate.
A senior police officer told New Age that the incident took place due to heavy fog.