Helicopter crashes off Scotland, killing 4

A helicopter carrying 18 people from an offshore oil platform to Sumburgh airport in Shetland, Scotland, crashed in the North Sea, about two miles from the airport. Four died in the crash, and 14 were taken to the hospital, though their injuries were not serious.

By

  • close
    Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers inspect a ditched helicopter near the mainland coast of the Shetland Islands, in Scotland, on August 24. The yellow object is a helicopter flotation device. Four people were killed and 14 rescued when the helicopter carrying oil workers crashed into the sea on Friday as it approached Sumburgh airport.
    View Caption

Four people have died after a helicopter carrying 18 from an offshore oil platform crashed into the North Sea off Scotland, police said Saturday.

The Eurocopter Super Puma helicopter ditched into the sea about two miles from Sumburgh airport in Shetland on Friday night. It was carrying 16 passengers and two crew members.

The aircraft's operator CHC, a company that serves offshore oil and gas platforms, said the aircraft was approaching the airport when it lost contact with air traffic control. The coastguard agency said it sent helicopters and lifeboats to the scene after receiving a distress signal.

Recommended: 13 survival stories from around the world

"There appears to have been a catastrophic loss of power which meant the helicopter suddenly dropped into the sea without any opportunity to make a controlled landing," said Jim Nicholson, a rescue coordinator.

CHC would not speculate on what caused the crash, saying it would cooperate fully with an investigation by police and the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

Police in Scotland said three bodies had been recovered, and they were searching for the fourth victim.

The 14 survivors were taken to a hospital, but their injuries were not serious. Oil company Total UK said one of them was its employee, while the others worked for separate contractor groups.

Friday's crash was the latest in a string of incidents involving Super Puma helicopters in Scotland in recent years. Two such helicopters ditched in the North Sea last year, with all the passengers rescued. One crashed while returning from a BP platform in 2009, killing 16 people.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the offshore workers' union RMT, said the Super Puma fleet should be grounded until the causes of Friday's crash were established.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...