North Macedonia marks 12th anniversary of helicopter crash near Blace

World News Agencies By Yael • 12 January, 2020


The country marks Sunday the 12th anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash near Katlanovo’s Blace that claimed the lives of 11 army peacekeepers while returning from the ALTHEA mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Delegations of the Ministry of Defense, Army General Staff, Joint Operational Command, the Wing Aviation Unit, 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and family members of victims will lay wreaths of fresh flowers at the memorial in Blace.

Earlier, delegations of the Wing Aviation Unit will lay wreaths at the memorial in front of the Aviation Command in the Strasho Pindzhur barracks in Petrovec.

The MI-17 helicopter of the armed forces was en route from Camp Butmir to Skopje when it crashed due to bad weather on Jan. 12, 2008.

The Macedonian peacekeepers, who returned from a six-month ALTHEA mission in Bosnia, lost contact with the Skopje airport control at about six miles from their destination.

Lieutenant-Colonel Toni Spasovski, Major Goran Ristovski, Captains Brane Spasovski and Igor Gjoreski, Master Sergeants Slavcho Vasilev and Toni Davitkovski, Staff Sergeants Janko Siric, Miki Ivanovski, Aleksandar Taskovski and Aleksandar Vasic, as well as Corporal Zlatko Veljanovski were killed in the crash. lk/mr