PRIME Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to five Army personnel that have been killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, including four from RAF Odiham.

Three soldiers from the Army Air Corps and a member of the Royal Air Force, all based at RAF Odiham were killed in the crash, as well as an Army reservist from the 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, based in London, after their Westland Lynx Mk 9 helicopter crashed in the Kandahar province in south Afghanistan yesterday.

The circumstances around the helicopter crash and identities of the five personnel who have been killed are not yet known but the next of kin have been informed.

Commander of the Joint Helicopter Command, Major General Richard Felton said: “It is with great sadness that we must confirm that five UK service personnel have been killed in this incident which, at this early stage, would appear to have been a tragic accident.

“Events like this, whilst mercifully rare, remind us of the risks our personnel face in their work in Afghanistan as we approach the conclusion of the combat mission later this year.

“Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives.”

Prime Minister David Cameron added: “I cannot pay high enough tribute to each and every one of them for the job that they do and the sacrifices that they make.”

The crash is the first fatal accident involving a UK military helicopter during the conflict in Afghanistan and it is the third biggest loss of life of British troops in a single incident in the country since the conflict began in 2001.

The incident brings the number of British forces killed in the Afghanistan conflict to 453.