Venezuelan media claimed that Mi-35 combat helicopter of the National Army of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has crashed near El Pao.
Local media reported on 6 February that the incident occurred two days ago, but officially it became known only today.
Five people left injured after a ‘military helicopter’ crash near El Pao, Cojedes State. El Pao is about 35 miles south of Valencia.
Media release un-official list of victims injured in Mi-35 crash :
Reynaldo Niño Lozano, 35 years old (pilot)
Javier Enrique Ocanto Chinchilla, 37 yeas old
Juan Carlos Bohórquez Pérez, 32 years old
Yondry José Romero, 38 years old
Michael Ibrahim, 53 years old
The cause of the crash is unknown at this point. According to source in Venezuela Army, crashed Mi-35 experienced technical problems, but in social media stated about sabotage.
The Mi-35M is a multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. It is an export variant of Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter. Primarily designed for attack and military transport missions, the helicopter delivers a more superior flight performance and manoeuvrability than its predecessor.
The combat helicopter took part in massive military drills to practice defending the nation’s territory, coast and rivers from foreign invaders.
¡Directo al piso! En ejercicios militares realizadas ayer, #4F en el Pao, estado Cojedes, un helicóptero Mi35 de la Narco FANB se precipitó. Sólo era una práctica, probando el arsenal pues. #6Febpic.twitter.com/6dSIWXQG1g
The Venezuelan Ministry of Defense denies that helicopter crash during military drills.
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited several military bases and met with members of the armed forces.
After head of the National Assembly head Juan Guaido declared himself the nation’s interim president, the US, Canada and many Latin American and European states recognising the opposition leader and the country’s head-of-state, Maduro said the National Armed Forces must be prepared to defend Venezuela and announced massive military exercises.