Helicopter Crash - Two Canadians and one ISAF soldier have died in Afghanistan

July 7, 2009

OTTAWA– Two Canadian air crew members and one ISAF soldier were killed when a Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter crashed during take-off.  The incident occurred at a Forward Operating Base in Tarnak Va Jaldak, Zabul Province, northeast of Kandahar City at around 1:50 p.m., Kandahar time, on 6 July 2009.

Killed in action were MCpl Pat Audet from 430e Escadron tactique d'hélicoptères based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier and Cpl Martin Joannette from the 3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, near Quebec City.

MCpl Pat Audet

Cpl Martin Joannette









Three other Canadian Forces members were injured in the crash, but were able to walk away from the crash site. They have been evacuated by helicopter to the Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility at the Kandahar Airfield. Two of them have returned to duty and the third is in stable condition.

The identities of the injured members will not be released.

An Air Wing Flight Safety investigation is underway, however it has been determined that the crash did not occur as a result of enemy fire.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our fallen comrades during this very difficult time.

Members of Task Force Kandahar are committed to improving security and increasing development in Kandahar Province.  Despite this accident we are determined to continue working with our Afghan and international partners towards a better future for the people of Afghanistan.




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