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Search for survivors after Atlantic helicopter crash

Latest update : 2009-03-13

A search and rescue operation is underway in the Atlantic ocean just off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland after a helicopter carrying 18 people on board crashed on its way to an oil rig on Wednesday morning.

AFP - A helicopter with 18 people aboard crashed Thursday into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Canada's Newfoundland province while en route to an oil rig, an official told AFP.

A search and rescue operation was under way, said Gerry Grychowski, a spokeswoman for the Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax.

Two people and a raft were spotted in the water some 47 nautical miles (54 miles, 87 kilometers) southeast of Saint Johns, Newfoundland, soon after the crash at 9:18 am local time (1218 GMT), she said.

The helicopter was ferrying workers to the Hibernia offshore oil platform when it plunged into the frigid waters of the Atlantic, amid strong winds, she said.

Two rescue helicopters and a coast guard vessel have been dispatched, and a Hercules military aircraft and a merchant ship are already at the scene.

 

Date created : 2009-03-12