ABBOTTABAD: The bodies of military personnel martyred in a helicopter crash in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been removed from a village near Mansehra where the aircraft went down on Thursday.
Sources said rescue activities which started shortly after the crash have now been finished at site of the crash.
The bodies were shifted Friday morning to a military-run medical facility in Abbottabad from where they were later taken to the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi.
At least 12 Army personnel, including five Majors, were killed in the Army Aviation MI-17 helicopter crash near Lassan Nawab area of Mansehra Thursday evening.
The charred corpses were burnt beyond recognition and the aircraft, which was carrying aid supplies, was still on fire in the evening.
The helicopter was en route from Rawalpindi to Gilgit when it crashed near Lassan Nawab, a valley about 32 kilometers from Mansehra District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Rough weather was said to be the most likely cause of the crash.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif commiserated with the families of the deceased on this tragic incident.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also expressed sorrow and grief over the crash. He directed the local administration to provide assistance in rescue and relief efforts.
The martyred personnel include; Major Humayun (Pilot), Major Muzammil (Pilot), Major Shahzad (Doctor), Major Atif (Doctor), Major Usman (Doctor), Havaldar Munir Abbasi, Nursing Assistant Amanullah, Naik Amir Saeed, Naik OT Maqbool, Sepoy Rehmat-ullah and Sepoy Waqar.
The accident came only hours after a helicopter of the Pakistan air force crashed in the flood-hit district of Chitral, although no casualties were reported.
Both incidents involved Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters, used by air forces across the world but which have had a patchy safety record in recent years.
In May, an Mi-17 army helicopter crashed at a holiday resort in the picturesque hills of Gilgit killing seven people, including two foreign ambassadors.
Known for its spectacular mountain ranges, Gilgit-Baltistan is a strategically important autonomous region that borders China, Afghanistan and Indian Occupied Kashmir.