Turkish Defense Ministry: crashed helicopter's pilots try to prevent civilian deaths

 Turkish Defense Ministry: crashed helicopter's pilots try to prevent civilian deaths

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the pilots of the helicopter, which crushed on a street in Istanbul's Sancaktepe neighborhood, did everything possible to prevent civilian deaths.

The Turkish minister said the pilot appeared to be trying to land the helicopter, which was on its way to the air force base of Samandira, near Sancaktepe, on an empty plot of land in order to prevent civilian deaths.

"They tried to make an emergency landing for a reason that we do not know yet," Akar said, adding that the helicopter was very close to the air base, "but unfortunately could not make it back."

The minister said that the dead servicemen included two officers and two non-commissioned officers. The injured serviceman, a sergeant, was in serious condition and facing an operation, the AP reported.

Akar added that an investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his condolences to the families of the killed and wished speedy recovery for the injured.

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