US says no reason to doubt technical fault caused copter crash


The United States on Friday said there was no reason to doubt the Pakistani conclusion that a helicopter crash in Gilgit-Baltistan resulting in deaths of two foreign ambassadors, happened due to a technical fault.

A State Department spokesperson also said no American embassy personnel or US citizens were affected in the incident in the Naltar Valley, which claimed seven lives including Ambassador of Philippines Domingo D Lucenario Jr and Ambassador of Norway Leif Larsen.

“We extend our condolences to those killed and injured, and the families of those killed and injured in this accident. Our thoughts are with the diplomatic community in Pakistan. I’d also highlight no American embassy personnel or US citizens were affected,” Jeff Rathke, Acting Deputy Spokesperson, said.

“On the question of what happened, I believe the Pakistani air force has already said something about this. They described it as a technical fault that they believe was responsible. So I’d certainly refer you back to them for their investigation and the details,” he said when asked about the US understanding of the crash.

“We don’t have reason to doubt what they’ve said. We refer you to them for their investigation,” he added.

Questioned about Washington’s stand about the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban ) claim of responsibility for the crash, the spokesperson said : “We have no reason to doubt what the Pakistani authorities have said.  But of course, it’s just happened so they’re investigating.”