The Pakistan Army helicopter that went missing Monday evening in Balochistan has crashed, leaving six military personnel martyred, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday. The military chopper had gone missing as it was en route from Quetta to Karachi at around 5:30pm. The personnel in the chopper were overseeing the flood relief efforts in the southwest of the country. Above normal monsoon rains and deadly flooding have hit Pakistan hard this year, killing hundreds of people so far and wreaking havoc, particularly in Balochistan. The ISPR, in a statement, said that the wreckage of the unfortunate helicopter was found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. It said that the accident occurred due to “bad weather” as per the initial investigation. All six officers and soldiers, including Corps Commander Quetta Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, embraced martyrdom. Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, who was commandant at the Command & Staff College in Quetta, had been commissioned in six Azad Kashmir regiments in March 1989 and served the Pakistan Army for 33 years. Director-General Pakistan Coast Guard Major General Amjad Hanif had been commissioned in 19 Azad Kashmir regiments in April 1994 and served for 29 years in the Pakistan Army. Commander Engineers 12 Corps Brigadier Muhammad Khalid had been commissioned in the 20 Engineer Battalion in 1994 and served for 29 years in the Pakistan Army. Major Saeed Ahmed was the pilot while Major Muhammad Talha Manan was the co-pilot. Naik Mudassir Fayyaz, the chief of the crew, was also on board and embraced martyrdom. The officers were part of the relief operations in Balochistan as the monsoon flooding, which began in mid-June, killed almost 500 people so far in Pakistan, including 149 in the province alone. President Dr Arif Alvi made a telephone call to COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa and offered his condolences over the death of six army officials in the tragic incident. All the personnel on board the helicopter embraced martyrdom, the COAS confirmed, adding that the incident took place due to bad weather and poor visibility during the rescue and relief operation in the province. He maintained that the wreckage of the copper had been recovered. In his condolence message, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the nation was deeply grieved by the martyrdom of Lt Gen Ali and five other officers of the Pakistan Army. “They were doing a sacred duty of providing relief to flood victims. Will remain eternally indebted to these sons of [the] soil. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families!” he wrote on Twitter. Expressing grief over the tragic incident, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif for the forgiveness of the souls of the martyred military personnel. Following the tragic incident, PTI Chairperson Imran Khan offered his condolences to the families of the martyrs. The former prime minister, in a statement on Twitter, said: “Tragic news about the army aviation helicopter crash and the martyrdom of all six on board. My condolences and prayers to the families of the martyrs.” “I had the privilege of knowing Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali whom I found to be a thorough professional and an upright, honest human being,” added Khan. PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also offered his condolences over the deaths of the Army official in the incident. Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said that the accident was “unbelievable” for him. “All the people in the helicopter are an asset to the country and the pride of the nation,” he said, expressing that they had laid down their lives while fulfilling their national duty. He said the martyrs were among the best army officers and their loss was a national tragedy. The chief minister went on to say that he had a brotherly and friendly relationship with General Sarfraz Ali and lauded his work in Balochistan. “The people of Balochistan salute the martyrs,” he added. Moreover, PPP co-chairperson and former president Asif Ali Zardari expressed deep grief and sorrow over the accident and prayed for the martyrs. In a tweet, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said she was “deeply saddened” by the news and prayed for the high ranks of the martyrs. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that his heart went out to the families of the martyrs. “May Almighty bless the martyrs with the highest ranks in Jannah and provide the aggrieved families with courage.” Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani also expressed his grief over the news and prayed for the strength and patience of the martyrs’ families. Former federal minister Asad Umar recalled his interaction with Lt Gen Faraz saying that he “found him to be not just a fine officer but a good human being”. “His heartfelt desire to help the people of Balochistan is what i remember the most,” the PTI leader added. Former national security adviser Moeed Yusuf also said he personally knew General Sarfraz since his time as a defence attache in Washington. “Had seen him work tirelessly in Balochistan when I was in government. All others on board were also busy serving our country on the frontlines like him, keeping up the long and proud tradition of Pakistan army support to relief efforts.” Police said the area where the chopper went missing was mountainous, without even jeep paths, making it extremely difficult for search and rescue parties. “Either you go on foot or on motorcycles or conduct aerial surveillance,” a senior official said. Other difficulties included lack of cell phone coverage and no electricity. Police are said to have engaged the services of local volunteers to assist with the search operation. Earlier in the day, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the search operations for the helicopter. During the telephonic conversation, PM Shehbaz expressed his concern over the safety of Lt Gen Sarfraz and other officials onboard the helicopter. He had termed the senior army officer a “thorough professional and an excellent person”.