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A British Chinook helicopter has been deliberately destroyed by ISAF Forces at 1605 local time having sustained damage on landing approximately 10km East of Sangin at 0530 this morning, Sunday 30 August 2009.
In addition to the four crew members the helicopter was carrying 15 soldiers from 2 RIFLES Battlegroup who were being inserted into the area as part of an ongoing security operation.
The aircraft is believed to have suffered a 'hard landing' and sustained damage to the undercarriage, nose and front rotor which subsequently made it unflyable. The crew and passengers were unharmed. The troops continued with the operation and the crew were extracted by one of the two other Chinooks also on the operation.
Despite all options being investigated, due to the location and the environment, the decision was taken that it could not safely be recovered and so it was subsequently destroyed by military personnel using explosives.
The cause of the incident is under investigation however there is no evidence to suggest that it was caused by enemy action.
Options for replacement of this aircraft are being considered and in the meantime assets from the joint ISAF helicopter force will be made available to ensure there is no loss of operational effectiveness.