Afghanistan helicopter crash victims repatriated to UK

The killed crew (clockwise from top left): Capt Thomas Clarke, WO2 Spencer Faulkner, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, L/Cpl Oliver Thomas and Cpl James Walters The killed crew were (clockwise from top left): Capt Thomas Clarke, WO2 Spencer Faulkner, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, L/Cpl Oliver Thomas and Cpl James Walters

The bodies of five UK service personnel who died in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan have arrived back in the UK.

Capt Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner and Cpl James Walters were from the Army Air Corps.

The others killed on 26 April were RAF intelligence officer Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan and L/Cpl Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps.

As the cortege passed through Carterton families put flowers on top of the hearses

An aircraft carrying the bodies land at RAF Brize Norton earlier.

A ceremony was held at the airbase before the cortege left for the John Radcliffe Hospital at about 16:45.

An investigation is under way into how the Lynx helicopter came down in the Takhta Pul district of Kandahar, some 30 miles from the Pakistan border, on 27 April.

The MoD said the crash appeared to have been a "tragic accident" which happened during "a routine flight".

Capt Clarke, 30, from Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, Cpl Walters, 36, from Leedstown in Cornwall, Flt Lt Chauhan, 29, of Birmingham and WO Faulkner, 38, were stationed at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

Lynx MK9 The crash is believed to have involved a Lynx MK9 helicopter, one of which is seen here flying in Afghanistan

L/Cpl Thomas, 26, who was born in Brecon, Powys and went to school in Kington, Herefordshire, was an Army reservist from 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, and based in London. He was a researcher for the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, Roger Williams.

The crash was the first fatal accident of the Afghan conflict involving a UK military helicopter and the third biggest loss of life of British troops in a single incident in the country since the invasion in 2001.

The deaths bring the number of British forces personnel killed in the conflict in Afghanistan to 453.

Nato forces, including UK troops, are preparing to withdraw combat troops by the end of this year.

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