Police official killed in helicopter crash

March 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

JOS, Nigeria, March 15 (UPI) -- A senior Nigerian police official and three other officers died when a helicopter caught fire and crashed after taking off from Jos, officials said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police John Haruna was returning to the capital of Abuja Wednesday following a security meeting in Jos when the helicopter went down, the Daily Trust reported. There were no survivors.

Witness said the chopper lost altitude and was emitting smoke before it burst into flames. A mechanical malfunction is suspected.

Sgt. Sonatian Shirunam, pilot Garba Yalwa and co-pilot Alexander Pwol-Ja were also killed in the crash.

Several homes were damaged in the crash. The government said no one on the ground was injured but the Daily Trust said a 9-year-old boy was killed and a number of people were taken to hospitals.

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