Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
An aircraft man, Umaru Abdul-Ganimu, has been killed by the blade of the Nigerian Air Force helicopter in the Bama area of Borno State.
The personnel, who was said to be actively involved in the counter-insurgency Operation Lafiya Dole, was said to be passing through the side of the functioning rotor on Saturday when the blade hit his head.
Our correspondent learnt that the ACM was supposed to give directions for the landing helicopter when he was accidentally hit by the tail rotor and died instantly.
Our correspondent gathered that his family members were contacted by the NAF authorities and his body was removed for burial at the Maimalari Military Cemetery in Maiduguri, the state capital.
A military source said, “You know, he was one of the finest personnel in Bama and when you go for a lot of insurgency operations like that, you sometimes tend to forget what you are doing. He subconsciously moved towards the tail rotor and the damage was immediate.
“It is regrettable but this is not what the military wants to talk about. It is very painful.”
Meanwhile, the aircraft was taken back to the airbase in Bama without any damage to its tail rotor.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, could not be reached for comments on the incident as of press time on Sunday as his line rang out twice.