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Three survive army helicopter crash in Fort Portal 

A Ugandan army helicopter has crashed in Fort Portal. 

The MI-24 Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) helicopter that had two onboard, crashed into a mud and wattle house at Saaka at about 9 am, just half a kilometre from the airfield. According to an eyewitness, three helicopters had just taken off from Saaka airfield but one of them crashed into the house.

Peruce Kabarwani, whose house was destroyed, says that she was in her house when she heard a loud bang and when she moved out, she found the helicopter had crashed into a section of her house. She says due to the fear, her blood pressure rose, and she had to be rushed to a nearby health facility.

Maj Peter Mugisa, the Mountain Division spokesperson said that the helicopter crashed after it developed a mechanical problem. He says that investigators will inquire into whether human error or environmental factors contributed to the crash.

Her daughter Mary Mbabazi, says that this is not the first time helicopters are destroying their property. She says that in December, an army helicopter that was taking off from Saaka airfield blew off several roofs. She wants the government to help them relocate to another place.  

Maj Mugisa said that the army will renovate the damaged house.  This is not the first time UPDF helicopters are crashing. Last year, a military helicopter crashed close to Entebbe International airport, killing Capt Carol Busingye. 

In 2020, Maj Naome Karungi and cadet pilot Benon Wakalo perished in another Jet Ranger crash in Butambala. However, the military has never released to the public the findings of investigations into the two incidents.

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