13 individuals are presumed lifeless after a helicopter crashed west of the Norwegian metropolis of Bergen, rescuers say.
Eleven of these on board have been Norwegian, one was British and one Italian. No survivors have been discovered.
A serious rescue operation was launched however ended inside hours of the crash.
In the meantime, Norway’s civil aviation authority has imposed a flight ban on the kind of helicopter that crashed – the Eurocopter (EC) 225L Tremendous Puma. Stories say it was “completely destroyed”.
Its officers told VG newspaper (in Norwegian) that servicing for the helicopter which crashed had been delayed twice in 2015, for a complete of 200 flying hours.
Later, native media quoted a civil aviation authority spokeswoman as saying the helicopter’s two black packing containers had been recovered.
The British Civilian Aviation Authority later stated it was suspending business use of the Tremendous Puma, so it will be unable to hold oil and fuel staff however might nonetheless fly for different functions.
The plane was flying from the Gullfaks oil subject to Bergen, a centre for the North Sea oil and fuel business.
Eleven our bodies have been discovered, and two different individuals are nonetheless lacking.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated information of the crash was “horrible”.
King Harald and Queen Sonja cancelled a visit to Sweden, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.
‘Peculiar engine sound’
Oil firm Statoil stated all of the passengers have been on task for the corporate, however labored for various organisations.
Statoil has suspended oil manufacturing on the Gullfaks B platform “in order that we will maintain the employees in the easiest way potential”, firm vice-president Arne Sigve Nylund informed journalists.
The helicopter got here down close to the small island of Turoey, simply west of the village of Solsvik.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the helicopter’s rotor blade come unfastened and shear off.
“There was an explosion and a really peculiar engine sound, so I seemed out the window. I noticed the helicopter falling shortly into the ocean. Then I noticed an enormous explosion,” a resident advised native newspaper Bergensavisen.
Photographs from the scene confirmed thick smoke coming from an space of rocky islets.
Native media stated the helicopter dropped 640m (2,200ft) within the final 10 seconds earlier than it crashed. Some wreckage was discovered on the rocks, and elements of the fuselage are within the sea.
The tail of the plane was raised in a salvage operation, native media stated, and preparations are being made to get well the fuselage.
Supply: Airbus Helicopters
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Department is sending a staff to Norway as a result of it has investigated various crashes involving helicopters working to and from offshore oil and fuel fields in recent times.
In 2012, EC225 Tremendous Puma helicopters crashed in two incidents in Scotland, one off Aberdeen and one other off Shetland. Each crashes have been blamed on gearbox issues.
In each instances, all passengers and crew have been rescued, although in 2013 a Eurocopter AS332 also crashed in Shetland with the lack of 4 lives.
EC225s within the UK have been grounded following the crashes however given the go-forward to renew flying in 2013.
Helicopter Worldwide journal editor Elfan ap Rees stated main modifications appeared to have handled the gearbox drawback, and it was troublesome to know what might have gone incorrect within the Norwegian crash.
“General, the Tremendous Pumas have an excellent security document they usually have been continually improved and upgraded,” he informed the BBC.
“They’ve had various use within the offshore business.”
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