A Russian military helicopter crashed near Hama in northwest Syria last week, killing both of its pilots, Russia’s Defence Ministry announced on Wednesday.

A technician aboard the doomed Mi-24 chopper survived Sunday’s crash, which was caused by mechanical problems, the ministry said.

“The two pilots died during an emergency landing, 15 kilometres from their air base,” the ministry stated.

The helicopter was escorting a convoy at the time of the crash and clipped power cables before it came down, the Conflict Intelligence Team non-government organisation reported.

CIT said it did not know if the convoy being escorted by the chopper was transporting humanitarian aid or military equipment.