Pakistan said Monday that a military helicopter carrying six people, including a top general, went missing during a flood relief operation in southwestern Baluchistan province.
The military said in a late-night statement that the aviation helicopter was supervising relief activities in Lasbela district, about 500 kilometers south of the provincial capital, Quetta, when it lost contact with air traffic control.
Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, regional corps commander, and Brigadier Amjad Hanif Satti, director general of the Pakistan coast guard, were among those on board the missing aircraft, the army and local media reported.
The army said a search operation was underway but shared no further details.
Weeks of unusually heavy seasonal monsoon rains and subsequent flooding have killed 136 people and destroyed thousands of homes across Baluchistan, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
The devastation has prompted the military and the Pakistan navy to mobilize their personnel and assets to assist in civilian relief operations in the province, evacuating thousands of marooned people and delivering food and other necessary items to victim families.
Authorities said Monday the nationwide death toll from rain-related incidents across Pakistan had risen to 478 since June.
Monsoon rains in Pakistan usually run from July through September.