Russian helicopter crashes in southwestern Turkey, killing 5

August 12th, 2012 - 1:14 am ICT by BNO News  

KÖYCEĞIZ, TURKEY (BNO NEWS) — A Russian helicopter participating in an operation to extinguish wildfires crashed in southwestern Turkey on Thursday, killing three Russian citizens and two Turkish citizens, the owner of the aircraft said on Friday. There were no survivors.

The accident happened at around 4 p.m. local time when the Kamov Ka-32 helicopter crashed and rolled down a ravine in a mountainous region near Köyceğiz, a town in the province of Muğla in Turkey’s Aegean region. There were five crew members on board the aircraft, which can be used for both military and civilian purposes.

“The helicopter was performing operations against forest fires in Turkey in difficult mountain conditions,” said a spokesperson for the Nefteugansk United Airline Transportation Company, the Russian company which owned the aircraft. “During a flight the aircraft collided with a mountain slope, fell down and burned. According to the information received, all aboard the helicopter were killed.”

Authorities said the aircraft was carrying two Turkish citizens and three Russian citizens. The Turkish government identified the Turkish victims as pilot Atıf Ateşok and forest conservation worker Orhan Çelik. The Russian company identified the Russian victims as crew members Alexander Gavrilov, Nikolai Atepalikhin and Sergei Khorokhorin.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

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