by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Greece's political leadership on Wednesday expressed condolences over the deadly military helicopter crash in central Greece which killed four officers and injured another.
"Our nation and the people express deep sorrow and sincere gratitude to the heroic officers who perished always defending our national security," read an e-mailed statement by the office of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
In another e-mailed statement, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said "The loss of four officers of the Greek armed forces in the line of duty caused great sadness to all of us. I express deep condolences, both personally and on behalf of the government and the Greek people, to their families and quick recovery to the injured officer."
Similar statements were also issued by all political parties, while the Greek armed forces declared three days of mourning in its Air Force, according to a Defense Ministry announcement.
On board the UH-1H military helicopter which crashed near Elassona in central Greece, about 400 kilometers north of Athens, were Major General Ioannis Tzanidakis, Colonel Thomas Adamou, Majors Dimosthenis Goulas and Konstantinos Hatzis and Sergeant Vassiliki Plexida, it was announced.
Plexida survived the crash but seriously injured. She was transferred to hospital. Her relatives were informed by doctors that her life was not in danger, local media reported.
The causes of the accident have still not been determined. A team of experts has been dispatched on the site to investigate the circumstances of the incident, the Defense Ministry said.
According to the Defense Ministry the helicopter had been on a routine border control flight. It had departed from Larissa in central Greece and would land at Kozani city in northern Greece.
It disappeared from the radar about half an hour after takeoff and was located three hours later.
According to the Defense Ministry spokesman Vassilis Beletsiotis the helicopter was well maintained, all procedures were carefully followed as always before takeoff and weather conditions in the region were quite good with the exception of reported low visibility in some areas due to fog.