One week after Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, escaped death after his helicopter crashed in Kabba, Kogi State, four soldiers were killed on Monday after a Turkish military helicopter crashed in a residential area of Istanbul, the province’s governor said. “Unfortunately four of our soldiers became martyrs,” Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters at the scene. He said no other military personnel or civilian had been injured after the helicopter plunged to the ground in the Cekmekoy district.
The incident happened around 18:51 (15:51 GMT), he said in televised comments. Images on Turkish television earlier showed thick black smoke emanating from behind a white wall at the site on the Asian side of Istanbul. Yerlikaya said the Istanbul public prosecutor had launched an investigation into the cause of the crash. Four Turkish soldiers were killed last November after a military helicopter crashed in another residential area of Istanbul, hitting a four-storey building.
Recall that Osinbajo had survived a helicopter crash last Saturday, with the VP’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, stating: “VP Osinbajo’s Chopper crash lands in Kabba, but he and the entire crew safe. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State.” The VP, who was in Kogi in continuation of the TraderMoni scheme, was scheduled to visit Kabba, Okene and Idah, headquarters of Kogi West, Central and East respectively.
At exactly 2:40 pm, the first chopper in Osinbajo’s entourage made a successful landing and was followed by the second chopper conveying the VP. The chopper conveying the VP, which made its landing around 2:45 pm, was, however, unlucky as the tail of the chopper caught one of the vehicles parked in the arena and tumbled immediately. It took several minutes before the door of the chopper could be forced open. The VP, who was subsequently freed from his seat belt and carried out of the chopper, took some minutes to stand and waved to the waiting crowd. He was immediately taken away to an hotel where he rested before proceeding to the palace of the Obaro of Kabba, who doubles as the Chairman, Okun Traditional Council, HRM, Oba Solomon Owoniyi.
That crash was the second survived by the VP in less than two years after he survived a similar accident when the chopper he was traveling in crash-landed shortly after take off in Gwagawalada, Abuja in June 2017. At the time, Osinbajo was in the area council to attend the graduation of 40 senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service. Osinbajo would later confirm himself that he survived the crash and was grateful to all for their support.