SAAF Agusta crashes, crew presumed dead


The SA Press Association reports an Air Force helicopter has crashed into a dam in the upper Tugela area. 
defenceWeb sources say the Agusta A109 light utility helicopter was assigned to 17 Squadron temporarily based at Swartkop air station.

The news agency quotes police as saying its three occupants – two pilots and a flight engineer – are presumed dead.

Captain Charmaine Struwig said the helicopter was on its way to Dragon’s Peak at 11am when it plunged into Woodstock Dam and sank.
“Police divers and SA National Defence Force divers have been called in to assist in the recovery of the wreckage and the bodies of the occupants who are at this stage suspected to have drowned,” she said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Struwig said the identities of the passengers could not be released yet. 

The SANDF is preparing a statement on the incident.