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helicopter crash


Thirteen people have been killed in a helicopter crash near the Norwegian city of Bergen, rescuers say.

Eleven of those on board were Norwegians, one was Italian and one Briton. No survivors have been found.

A major rescue operation was launched but ended within hours of the crash.

Meanwhile, Norway’s civil aviation authority has imposed a flight ban on the type of helicopter that crashed – the Eurocopter (EC) 225L Super Puma. Reports say it was “totally destroyed”.

Civil aviation officials told Norwegian newspaper VG that servicing for the helicopter which crashed had been delayed twice in 2015, for a total of 200 flying hours.

Photo ITV.com

Photo ITV.com

The aircraft was flying from the Gullfaks oil field to Bergen, a centre for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Eleven bodies have been found, and two other people are still missing.

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said news of the crash was “horrible”.

King Harald and Queen Sonja cancelled a trip to Sweden, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

Oil company Statoil said the helicopter was “on assignment”. All the passengers were Statoil employees.

Both Statoil and the UK energy company BP have suspended use of the Super Puma.

Statoil has also suspended oil production at the Gullfaks B platform “so that we can take care of the staff in the best way possible”, company vice-president Arne Sigve Nylund told journalists.

The aircraft came down near the small island of Turoy, just west of the village of Solsvik.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the helicopter’s rotor blade come loose and shear off.

Photos from the scene showed thick smoke coming from an area of rocky islets.

Local media said the helicopter dropped 2,200ft in the last 10 seconds before it crashed. Some wreckage was found on the rocks, and parts of the fuselage are in the sea.

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Benin’s PM Lionel Zinsou walked away unscathed after the helicopter in which he was traveling crashed, his daughter said.

It is unclear why the helicopter carrying Lionel Zinsou crash-landed at a stadium in the country’s northwest.

“My father is fine. There were no victims in the helicopter accident in Djougou,” Marie-Cecile Zinsou tweeted.

Earlier this month, Lionel Zinsou confirmed he would run as a candidate in Benin’s 2016 presidential elections.

Photo AP

Photo AP

The helicopter crashed while landing at a stadium in the city of Djougou, a spokesman for Benin’s interior ministry Leonce Houngbadji told the AFP news agency.

He said no-one in the helicopter was hurt.

Lionel Zinsou, a former private-equity executive, was appointed prime minister of Benin in June.

He has said he will run for president in February 2016 election as a candidate of the ruling Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party.

Lionel Zinsou’s announcement put an end to speculation Benin’s president Thomas Boni Yayi was seeking a third term, Reuters reported in early December.

Ten people, including three French sports stars, have been killed in a helicopter crash in Argentina, the French presidential office confirms.

Eight French nationals and their two Argentine pilots died when two helicopters collided in La Rioja province in the country’s north-west.

Yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine all died.

The helicopters were involved in the filming of TV survival show Dropped.

“The sudden death of our fellow French nationals is a cause of immense sadness,” said a statement from French President Francois Hollande.

They crashed near Villa Castelli, about 720 miles from Buenos Aires, according to local officials.

The helicopters were filming Dropped, a popular celebrity show on the channel TF1.Argentina Dropped helicopter crash 2015

The show flies celebrities into rough terrains by helicopter and films their attempts to find food and shelter.

One of the contestants, former France and Arsenal footballer Sylvain Wiltord, tweeted: “I’m sad for my friends, I’m trembling, I’m horrified, I have no words, I don’t want to say anything.”

Another cast member, figure skater Philippe Candeloro, was said to be “extremely shocked but unharmed”.

The cause of the crash is unclear. Officials have said the weather conditions in the mountainous area where the helicopters went down were good.

“An explosion occurred and it’s believed that they must have collided,” said La Rioja Secretary of Security Cesar Angulo.

“Aeronautical experts will have to determine that,” he added.

“We learn with great sadness about the accident during the filming of the Dropped show,” said a statement issued by TF1.

“All TF1 teams come together in this terrible time with the pain of the families and relatives of the victims.”

TF1 says the show will be postponed and the rest of the crew is returning home.

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Five NATO soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led security mission ISAF has said.

Five NATO soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan

Five NATO soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan

ISAF gave no further details, saying in a statement that it was still reviewing the circumstances of the crash. The nationalities of the soldiers are unknown at this stage.

Afghan officials said the helicopter had come down in Kandahar province because of a mechanical failure.

Foreign forces are due to hand over responsibility for security to their Afghan counterparts at the end of 2014.

Fatal incidents involving foreign troops have declined as they prepare for the withdrawal.

However, such crashes have been relatively frequent over the years because coalition forces depend heavily on air transport.

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Two people died after a KOMO news helicopter crashed in central Seattle at the foot of the landmark Space Needle, fire officials have said.

The helicopter belonging to broadcaster KOMO went down about 07:52 local time.

A man in a car destroyed in the crash suffered severe burns and is hospital in critical condition, while two others escaped without serious injury.

KOMO said the helicopter was trying to take off when it crashed.

“There was a huge plume of thick black smoke” when fire fighters arrived, said fire department spokesman Kyle Moore.

Two people died after a KOMO news helicopter crashed in central Seattle at the foot of the landmark Space Needle

Two people died after a KOMO news helicopter crashed in central Seattle at the foot of the landmark Space Needle

Three vehicles on the street below the broadcaster’s building caught on fire. But fire fighters prevented a fuel spill from the crash from entering the sewer system.

The man brought to hospital was in one of the vehicles but managed to pull himself out despite having burns over 50% of his body, Kyle Moore said.

He said investigators had no indication the helicopter struck a building.

A witness told KOMO the engine of the helicopter “sounded extra heavy” as it started up and he heard an explosion seconds later.

Police have told Seattle drivers to stay out of the city centre. The National Safety Transportation Board has launched an investigation into the crash.

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Gary Arthur has been named by Scottish police as one of the eight people who died after a helicopter crashed into a busy Glasgow pub.

Gary Arthur, 48, was from the Paisley area, Police Scotland said.

Three occupants of the Police Scotland aircraft died when it hit The Clutha at about 22:25 GMT on Friday. A further five people inside the pub also died.

Emergency services are continuing the operation to recover any remaining bodies. Prayers will be offered at Glasgow Cathedral later.

A further 14 people are being treated for serious injuries.

Police Scotland said in a statement that “the body of a male has been recovered from the scene”.

Gary Arthur has been named by Scottish police as one of the eight people who died after a helicopter crashed into a busy Glasgow pub

Gary Arthur has been named by Scottish police as one of the eight people who died after a helicopter crashed into a busy Glasgow pub

“The male has now been identified as Gary Arthur, aged 48, from the Paisley area. His family have been informed.

“Extensive efforts continue to recover the remaining bodies from the scene but, due to ongoing safety constraints, this is likely to take some time.”

Gary Arthur’s daughter Chloe, 18, who has played for the Scotland women’s football team and for Celtic women, took to Twitter to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and to pledge that she would make her much-loved father proud.

Chloe Arthur tweeted: “RIP dad. You’ll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart.

“Thanks to everyone who has tweeted me, text me etc, means so much, I have the most amazing friends ever.”

Gary Arthur was a regular on the sidelines watching his daughter play at matches, according to Celtic women’s manager David Haley.

A minute’s silence will be held before Celtic’s Scottish Cup tie against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.

Celtic FC and the Scottish Football Association also sent their condolences.

Emergency teams working through the wreckage had two main purposes.

They wanted to be sure they had located everyone who might have been trapped inside and they wanted to recover as much of the police helicopter as they could to help find out what went wrong.

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Five members of the South African military have been killed in a helicopter crash at the Kruger National Park, officials said.

The helicopter was patrolling the Kruger National Park on Saturday evening looking for rhino poachers.

The helicopter was patrolling the Kruger National Park on Saturday evening looking for rhino poachers

The helicopter was patrolling the Kruger National Park on Saturday evening looking for rhino poachers

The patrol was routine and an investigation is under way.

The poaching of rhinos is rampant in South Africa. Their horns are sold in Asia, where some believe they have medicinal purposes, although there is no evidence to support it.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation quoted Brig. Gen. Xolani Mabanga as saying that the Agusta A1-0-9 light utility helicopter had come down at around 20:00 local time on Saturday, killing all five people on board.

General Xolani Mabanga said the ministry of defence extended condolences to the families of the deceased, all members of the South African National Defence Force.

Two helicopters have crashed near Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, leaving at least two people dead and several others injured.

The helicopters hit each other in mid-air during a police exercise.

German Bild newspaper said one of the pilots was killed and four people were injured, two of them seriously.

Footage showed the two aircraft on their side in the snow.

Some 400 federal police officers were conducting a football violence training exercise when the crash happened.

An eyewitness told the NTV channel: “Three helicopters were in the air. It was a real snowstorm. Suddenly we heard a bang and someone shouted <<everybody down>>. Then there was blood everywhere. Nearby, there was a huge pool of blood.”

Two helicopters have crashed near Berlin's Olympic Stadium, leaving at least two people dead and several others injured

Two helicopters have crashed near Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, leaving at least two people dead and several others injured

Pictures showed police and emergency services crawling over the wreck of one of the aircraft, apparently attending to someone inside.

Others cared for a casualty on a stretcher.

A police officer was seen walking from the scene with blood pouring down his face.

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Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo has died in a helicopter crash.

Lino Oviedo, a 69-year-old retired general, was running for Paraguay’s third largest party in April’s presidential election.

He had been involved in politics for decades, helping lead the coup which overthrew the military ruler Alfredo Stroessner in 1989.

Lino Oviedo was returning from a rally when his helicopter crashed north of the capital, Asuncion. An inquiry into the cause of the crash is under way.

The pilot and Lino Oviedo’s bodyguard also died. Police found their bodies in the province of Presidente Hayes.

Defence Minister Maria Liz Garcia said residents had heard a single explosion and the aircraft disintegrated. A storm had been reported along the flight path.

President Federico Franco has declared three days of mourning.

Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo has died in a helicopter crash

Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo has died in a helicopter crash

Lino Oviedo was running for the National Union of Ethical Citizens party (UNACE) in the presidential elections due on April 21.

As an army colonel he played a prominent part in the uprising which overthrew General Alfredo Stroessner in 1989, delivering the news that he was under arrest.

In the aftermath of the coup, Lino Oviedo rose quickly through military ranks, becoming brigadier-general and, by 1993, army chief.

His continued political campaigning, however, was criticized by then-president Juan Carlos Wasmosy, who asked him to step down as army chief in 1996 – an order he ignored.

He eventually stepped down and ran as a candidate for the Colorado Party in the 1998 presidential election.

However, before the election he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to overthrow President Juan Carlos Wasmosy. His running mate, Raul Cubas, was elected instead and ordered Lino Oviedo’s release.

But the killing of Vice-President Luis Maria Argana in 1999 and accusations by his relatives that Lino Oviedo had been behind the killing sent him into exile.

In 2004 he returned to Paraguay, where he was convicted over his 1996 insubordination. The conviction was overturned in 2007, allowing him to run in the 2008 election, which he lost.

Seen as a populist, Lino Oviedo often switched between Spanish and Guarani during his speeches.

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Two people have been killed and thirteen injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane in central London.

Police said the helicopter had hit the crane on top of The Tower, One St George Wharf at about 08:00 GMT.

About 90 firefighters were at the scene near Wandsworth Road in South Lambeth. Doctors said one of the dead was the pilot and the other was on the ground. Six people were taken to hospital.

The pilot had asked to be diverted to a nearby heliport because of bad weather.

Metropolitan Police Commander Neil Basu said it was “miraculous” the crash was not much worse.

Burning wreckage lay in the road but the fire was brought under control within 25 minutes, the fire brigade said.

One of those taken to hospital had a broken leg and the others had minor injuries. Seven people were treated at the scene.

Part of the crane was left hanging from the side of the residential building, which is still under construction. London Fire Brigade said part of the tail section of the helicopter landed on roof of the building and the main section landed in Wandsworth Road, hitting two cars. The fire from the helicopter ignited two buildings.

Police said it was understood the helicopter was on a scheduled flight from Redhill in Surrey to Elstree in Hertfordshire.

A spokesman for London Heliport at Battersea said the pilot had requested to divert and land there due to bad weather.

The incident caused gridlock with all approaches to the Vauxhall Cross one way system closed at the height of the rush hour and Vauxhall Tube station and railway station closed, though the stations have since reopened.

London Fire Brigade said more than 50 other firefighters were at St George’s Wharf to secure the damaged crane.

Weather observations at the time of the crash showed very low cloud but not thick fog. The nearest observation site was London City Airport which at 08:00 reported 700 m visibility with broken cloud at a height of 100ft.

NATS, which runs air traffic control across the UK, said the pilot had been receiving assistance earlier in the flight but not at the time of the crash.

The incident will be investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

An RNLI lifeboat was initially sent to search the Thames near the crash scene following a request from London Heliport after it lost contact with the aircraft, which is understood to be an AgustaWestland AW109, a lightweight, twin-engine helicopter with eight seats.

Fire brigade station manager Bruce Grain said crews arrived at the scene in four minutes.

He said the helicopter fell into Wandsworth Road, hitting various vehicles and bursting into flames and there were also fires in nearby buildings.

A man was rescued from a burning car by firefighters.

Wandsworth Road was blocked by the burning wreckage and aviation fuel and the side of a building also caught fire.

A motorcycle was also lying on its side in the road where it was abandoned.

Witness Michael Krumstets said: “I was on my way to work this morning with my flatmate when the helicopter crashed right next to us.

“We saw the helicopter clip the crane and heard a loud crack, it started spinning out of control and directly towards us. It took just seconds for this to happen.

“We ran as it fell towards us. We got away just in time.

“We were just feet away when it hit the ground and exploded.”

Two people have been killed and thirteen injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane in central London

Two people have been killed and thirteen injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane in central London

Mark Osbourne, from a bike shop near the scene, said he ran to try to help the injured.

“There was lots of wreckage and fire,” he said.

“I saw a woman on a motorcycle that must have missed the carnage by six feet.

“It felt like a war movie, it was surreal.”

Craig Dunne, who was walking to work at the time of the accident, said: “When I got to the end of the road there was a massive explosion and the crane is obviously in pieces.

“And I looked to the left-hand side and there were cars – three cars on fire – people screaming, shouting and hollering, and the next thing I know there are police, ambulances and everything everywhere and people going crazy. It’s madness – absolute madness.”

Mark Correll was cycling along Wandsworth Road when debris from the crash started falling around him.

“I heard a massive explosion and looked up to see debris falling everywhere from the sky,” he said.

“I didn’t hang around as there was massive debris falling intermittently and if anything had hit me I would have been killed.

“My first instinct was to dodge the debris – I thought the building was going to collapse.

“It was easily the most frightening thing I have ever witnessed.”

Market worker Andrew Ross said: “I heard a loud bang and I saw this helicopter falling out of the sky.

“[There was] an orange glow and lots of smoke coming up.

“It was flying below cloud cover – it was still foggy and a little bit dark.”

Michael Gavin, who was waiting for a train on a platform at Vauxhall station, said: “I heard the bang – the top of the crane was obscured by the fog so I did not see the impact but I did see the helicopter falling to the ground along with pieces of the crane, then the long plume of smoke from there.

“It was really quite shocking. There was a group of us on the platform waiting, we could not see where it hit because it was blocked by a wall at the end of the station.

“There were a lot of worried people around.”

Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, heard an “enormous bang” as she walked towards Vauxhall Tube before seeing “clouds of black smoke”.

Quinn Murray, who was cycling when he saw the crash, said: “I saw the helicopter hit the top of the crane and come down just to the left of the station.

“There was quite a large amount of fire and a huge smoke cloud. It wasn’t on the road, but into a building site where they are building the new Nine Elms area.”

Erin Rogers, who was waiting at a bus stop outside Vauxhall station, said: “It was a bit surreal actually. I just had a coffee in my hand, I looked up, heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor.

“Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on going <<What was that?>>.

“It’s something I will never forget for a long time.”

The emergency services were praised for their swift response by Councillor Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council.

She said: “I understand that swift action by the fire service may well have saved the life of one of the casualties of the crash.

“The safety of Lambeth residents is my major concern and I will be seeking reassurances about the procedures governing helicopter flights.”

Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, said: “My initial thought was that it might have hit one of the many densely populated tall buildings. To hear it had hit the crane was a relief in some way.

“Police said to me that their first fear was it was the police helicopter, however, it had been grounded because of the weather.”

She said the rapid increase in the number of tall buildings in London meant more rigorous controls over who can fly where may be needed.

At Prime Minister’s Questions she asked David Cameron for a review of the rules on helicopters flying over central London.

David Cameron said: “She’s right that it’s not an issue for today but inevitably it’s something that has to be carefully looked at.”

The Civil Aviation Authority said there were 16,374 helicopter flights over London in 2012. It said single-engine craft were required to fly along certain routes, selected to provide safety, and while twin-engine helicopters could operate in wider areas, all were subject to air traffic control clearance.

It said pilots were notified of very tall structures for flight planning purposes, as was the case with the crane involved in the crash.

The Met said there was no suggestion the incident was linked to terrorism.

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Seventeen soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in Siirt province, southeast Turkey, officials have said.

The helicopter went down due to bad weather conditions in the Siirt province, according to local officials and state media.

Siirt Governor Ahmet Aydin also said the victims were members of Turkish special forces.

The Turkish military is active in the south-east, fighting Kurdish militants.

State-run television said the crash occurred in heavy fog in a mountainous area, but authorities are still investigating exactly what happened.

Kurdish rebels are active in the area, but there is no indication they were involved in the incident.

 

Six people have reportedly died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous area of Provence in southeastern France.

The aircraft came down at around 13:40 local time in the Verdon Gorge, an area popular with hikers.

The helicopter, reportedly a Cougar, belonged to aviation company Eurocopter and was on a test flight involving pilots and engineers, officials say.

Witnesses said the helicopter had hit an electricity cable before plunging down onto the river bank.

Six people have died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous area of Provence

Six people have died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous area of Provence

Firefighters and a team of climbers were dispatched to the scene, as well as a medically-equipped helicopter.

The helicopter came down in one of Europe’s best known river gorges, which runs 700 m (2,300 ft) deep.

Police spokesman Benoit Gounine told reporters that rescuers had trouble reaching the site.

“The accident happened in a very difficult place to access, which complicates our work,” he said.

Investigations are taking place to determine the cause of the crash.

 

Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has died in a helicopter crash, officials say.

Officials say George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, have been killed when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi, bursting into flames as it hit the ground.

There is no word on the cause of the crash, in which six people were killed, including bodyguards and pilots.

George Saitoti, 66, a former vice-president, had been planning to run in a forthcoming presidential poll.

He was on his way to a security meeting when his helicopter crashed on Sunday morning.

An AFP agency news journalist saw six charred bodies being removed from the wreckage.

Officials say George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, have been killed when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi, bursting into flames as it hit the ground

Officials say George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, have been killed when the aircraft went down west of Nairobi, bursting into flames as it hit the ground

Another reporter at the scene says debris of the burnt-out police helicopter were strewn in the brush.

George Saitoti had been a key figure in Kenyan politics, holding a number of senior ministerial posts over the last 30 years.

The professor of mathematics joined Daniel Arap Moi’s government as a finance minister in 1983, going on to become his vice-president in 1988.

He briefly stepped down as education minister in 1996 over accusations he was involved in the Goldenberg financial scandal, but was reinstated when a Kenyan court ruled he should not be charged.

After years as a senior member in the long-dominant Kanu party, George Saitoti joined the current president Mwai Kibaki’s National Alliance of Kenya in 2002.

As Internal Security Minister under Mwai Kibaki, he was a leading government voice against the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Kenyan troops have been fighting al-Shabab in Somalia since they sent troops into the country last October.

The militants have killed several people in a string of grenade attacks in various parts of Kenya, including Nairobi.

George Saitoti announced he would stand for the presidency last November.

No date for the presidential election has so far been set. Mwai Kibaki’s mandate ends in January 2013.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga – a rival of both Mwai Kibaki and George Saitoti – has also announced he was standing for president.

The last presidential election, in December 2007, was followed by a wave of ethnic and political violence in which about 1,500 were killed.

Raila Odinga has warned about the emergence of ethnically-based political groups in the run-up to the next poll.

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Peruvian police officials say they have found the wreckage of a helicopter missing in the south of the country, and all 14 on board are dead.

The helicopter had left the Amazon region of Madre de Dios on Wednesday bound for Cusco.

The 12 passengers were mostly South Korean but included a Dutchman, a Czech, a Swede and a Peruvian, police said. The two members of the crew were Peruvian.

The wreckage was at 4,900 m (16,000 ft) near Mount Mamarosa, police said.

Peruvian police officials say they have found the wreckage of a helicopter missing in the south of the country, and all 14 on board are dead

Peruvian police officials say they have found the wreckage of a helicopter missing in the south of the country, and all 14 on board are dead

Police commander Raul Aybar, who visited the scene, said the helicopter had “crashed and exploded”.

“Everyone died in the initial impact because everything is burned and scattered,” Raul Aybar told AP news agency.

Peru’s police chief, General Raul Salazar, said that some parts of the helicopter had been thrown up to 200m by the force of impact.

Officials said bodies were being recovered from the crash site, although rain and snow have hampered the team’s efforts.

The South Korean embassy in the Peruvian capital, Lima, said its nationals had been part of a team exploring a potential hydro-electric project near Puno, in southern Peru.

Samsung C&T and the Korea Water Resources Corporation, which employed some of those on board, had sent teams to assist in the search.

The helicopter went missing in a mountainous area that is regularly covered in clouds.

Thousands of tourists travel to the Cusco region each year to visit Machu Picchu, a 15th Century Incan city on a mountain above the town of Aguas Calientes.

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