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Tragic Mid-Air Collision: Two Malaysian Navy Helicopters Crash During Rehearsal, Claiming Lives of Crew Members (Watch)

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Rescue teams clearing debris from the crash site (Image credit: BBC)

 

On May 11th, 2024, a devastating landslide impacted an unused tailings storage facility at Siana in Surigao del Norte, Philippines, resulting in the displacement of at least 55 families. The event occurred early in the morning and, fortunately, did not result in any fatalities, although several homes were destroyed. This facility, known as TSF3, was previously managed by an Australian company, Red 5, but was not actively used by the current operator, Greenstone Resources Corporation (GRC), at the time of the landslide.

The site, which had been involved in gold extraction, includes multiple tailings storage facilities and is near the local village and elementary school. Details of the site and its historical operations are documented on platforms like Google Earth and the TVI website, providing a visual context to the area’s layout and the scale of the operations. The TSF3 facility, in particular, was designed by a global engineering and environmental consultant and constructed by Suricon, highlighting the complex engineering involved in its creation.

Historically, concerns about the structural integrity of the tailings dam emerged in 2014 when it was discovered that the dam wall had been compromised. Subsequent measures were taken to improve the tailings storage facilities after mining operations were temporarily paused. These past incidents underline the importance of robust and ongoing engineering assessments to ensure the safety of such facilities, particularly in areas susceptible to natural events like seismic activity and heavy rainfall.

Video source: The Telegraph Youtube Channel

The incident has prompted a full investigation by the Royal Malaysian Navy, supported by the Ministry of Defense, to ascertain the cause of the crash and to implement future safety measures. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his deep condolences to the families of the deceased, underscoring the national mourning for the lost lives. This accident is among several helicopter accidents in Malaysia in recent years, highlighting ongoing challenges in aviation safety within the region.

Efforts are currently underway to confirm the identities of the deceased, all of whom were reportedly under the age of 40. The accident has cast a shadow over the upcoming celebrations marking the 90th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

References

Ng, Kelly 2024, ‘Ten dead as navy helicopters collide mid-air in Malaysia’, BBC News, viewed 28th May 2024, <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-68852721> 

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