A Pakistani military helicopter crashed into a school in the country’s north on Friday, killing seven including the Norwegian and Philippine ambassadors, and setting the building ablaze.
The helicopter was one of three carrying a delegation of envoys to inspect projects on a three-day trip to Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan territory where they were due to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Leif Larsen, the Norwegian envoy and Domingo Lucenario of the Philippines were killed along with the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors, as well as the helicopter’s two pilots.
In Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of Lucenario in a statement issued Friday night. The full statement:
”The Department of Foreign Affairs is deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan Hon. Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr. due to a helicopter crash incident in the Naltar Valley area of Pakistan.
”Ambassador Lucenario was a career ambassador who served the Philippine Government for over 25 years. During his term as Ambassador to Pakistan, relations between the Philippines and Pakistan have enjoyed a robust partnership in various areas of cooperation.
”Ambassador Lucenario was also the Philippines’ non-resident Ambassador to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
”A lawyer by profession, he served the Department in various capacities including assignments in Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, and as former Philippine Ambassador to Kenya with concurrent jurisdiction to 12 African nations. He was the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN Habitat). He also served as Deputy Chief of Presidential Protocol under the Ramos Administration aside from various positions in the Home Office.
”Ambassador Lucenario was one of the few career Filipino diplomats who had the rare distinction of having been awarded by the President of the Philippines with three (3) major Presidential Awards, namely: the Order of Sikatuna Award with the rank of Datu (Gold level) (2009), the Order of Lakandula Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Maringal na Pinuno) (2008), and the Gawad Mabini Award with the rank of Grand Officer (Dakilang Kamanong) (2008).
”The Department of Foreign Affairs offers its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Ambassador Lucenario at this time of mourning. He is survived by his wife, Lawyer Nida Arada Lucenario and 3 children. Ambassador Lucenario was 54 years old.”
The Norwegian government has also confirmed the death of its ambassador to Pakistan.
Polish ambassador Andrzej Ananiczolish and Dutch ambassador Marcel de Vink were also injured.