Eight missing after military helicopter crashes into sea off Venezuela

August 19th, 2011 - 4:18 am ICT by BNO News  

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (BNO NEWS) — A Venezuelan military helicopter carrying 10 people crashed into the sea on Wednesday afternoon, officials said on Thursday. One person has been confirmed dead.

The accident happened at around 5.45 p.m. local time when the Bell 412 helicopter, belonging to Venezuela’s National Armed Forces, crashed into the sea near the municipality of PeƱalver in the state of Anzoategui. It was traveling from Carupano to Malquetia.

Communication and Information Minister Andres Izarra confirmed that search and rescue teams were able to find one survivor, who was identified as Army First Sergeant Edward Gonzalez. In addition, one of the pilots’ bodies was found and identified as Lieutenant Freddy Zabaleta.

Search and rescue operations continued on Thursday around the crash site but officials do not expect to find other survivors.

The eight missing people were identified as Vice Admiral Luis Fernando Berrios Pardo, Sub-Admiral Villarroel, Captain Ferreira Da Silva, Captain Otto Cerrutti Cachut, Lieutenant Jose Grosso Santoni, First Sargeant Vera Valera, First Sargeant Gonzalez, and Second Sergeant Mervis Gonzalez Vera.

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