Speaking on behalf of the government of Hungary and the Ministry of Defence at a press conference held on Wednesday, the Minister of Defence expressed his condolences to the next of kin of those killed in a helicopter accident in Croatia.
Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that the Hungarian Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence consider the deceased soldiers their own dead.
He said that an Airbus H145M helicopter of the Special Operations Air Task Unit (SOATU) of the HDF 86th Helicopter Wing with three Hungarian airmen on board had crashed in the area of Croatia on Wednesday. Two airmen have died in the line of duty in service of the homeland, and a search is underway for the third one.
The investigation into the event is ongoing, an investigation committee from the Croatian air force, the Croatian Chief of Defence and political leaders are present on the site. Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, Chief of the Hungarian Defence Forces General Staff is also on his way to the site, heading a special expert team.
The politician said that information on the details and causes of the accident would be given after the expert investigation was concluded.
He added that the exercise was being conducted in the organization of the Multinational Special Aviation Programme Training Centre (MSAP TC) in the vicinity of Zadar. On this occasion, the Hungarian airmen were participating in mountain flying training.
In answer to a question, the Minister of Defence declined to comment on press reports suggesting that the Hungarian helicopter had collided with a steel cable, which had led to the tragic event. In answer to another question from the press, he stated that until the completion of investigation, the Hungarian Defence Forces would not fly their Airbus helicopters of the same type as the one involved in the accident.