The remains of Hungarian soldiers killed in a helicopter crash during training in Croatia were received with military salute at the Szolnok airfield on Tuesday.
The coffins of the victims, draped with Hungarian flags and tied with national color-ribbons, were transported by a Mi-17 helicopter to the 86th Kiss József Helicopter Brigade of the Hungarian Defense Forces. Brigadier General József Koller, Commander of the Air Force Headquarters, led the coffins to the hangar in front of the wall of honor, accompanied by the Szolnok Air Force Band.
Photo: MTI/Mészáros János
After the ceremony, Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that
today is a day of mourning,” as the remains of three heroic Hungarian comrades were brought home from Croatia.
Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky (L) and Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, Chief of the Hungarian Military Staff (R); Photo: MTI/Mészáros János
Captain Ádám Radnai, First Lieutenant Dávid Konrád, and Ensign Tamás Lőrincz died in the line of duty, in the service of their country.
“We are proud of them,” the Minister stressed.
The Hungarian Defense Forces lost three of their own, and will make the arrangements for their funeral, he said, stressing that they would provide all assistance to the relatives of the deceased soldiers. The Minister expressed the sincere condolences of the Government, the Ministry of Defense, the Hungarian Defense Forces, and his own to the families of the deceased.
He pointed out that the investigation into the events of the accident in Croatia is still ongoing. The tragedy took place on extremely difficult terrain, and the results of the investigation will be made available to the public as soon as information is available, he said.
Lieutenant Colonels Roland Kálinger and László Mészáros, camp chaplains, remembered the deceased heroes at the service.
The three brave pilots did what their country demanded of them, sacrificing their lives in the process,” Roland Kálinger stated. They knew that flying was a “dangerous business, yet they did not hesitate to do their duty,” he said.
He said it was not only the three soldiers who crashed, but “the whole aviation world was a little bit shattered.” There is no soldier in Szolnok who does not consider this loss a personal loss, and there is no “true comrade” in the Hungarian Defense Forces who does not feel the pain of mourning, he said.
The most modern technology and the best training may be in vain, when it comes to the fragility and fleeting nature of human life, he noted. The soldiers served their country knowing this, and such people are called heroes,”
Photo: MTI/Mészáros János
The event was attended by family members of the victims, as well as Lieutenant General Gábor Böröndi, Chief of the Hungarian Military Staff, Ferenc Szalay, Mayor of Szolnok, and Attila Berkó, Chief of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County Government Office.
Featured image: MTI/Mészáros János