All nine crew confirmed dead in Japan rescue helicopter crash

  • Saturday 11, August 2018 in 5:10 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Authorities on Saturday confirmed the deaths of all nine people aboard a rescue helicopter that crashed in central Japan.
Two of the crew had already been pronounced dead on Friday after the crash of the Bell 412 EP helicopter from Gunma prefecture. Bodies of the seven other crew members were recovered after the search resumed Saturday morning.
Of the nine crew members, a pilot and a mechanic from Toho Air service company were operating the helicopter and the other seven were rescue workers from Gunma.
The chopper went missing less than an hour after take-off Friday morning during a flight to assess a trail route on the border of Gunma, Nagano and Niigata prefectures, Kyodo News reported, citing local officials.
Its wreckage was found Friday afternoon in a forest in Gunma. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.
The helicopter was under repair from April to June due to engine trouble, Kyodo reported, citing an unnamed local government official.
A helicopter operated by the same air service company crashed in Gunma prefecture in November, killing all four crew members aboard.
In March 2017, all nine people aboard the same kind of chopper belonging to Nagano prefecture died following its crash into a mountain in central Japan, Kyodo said.