Turks, Lebanese among seven dead in Italy copter crash
June 12, 2022 10:19 AM
Seven bodies were found Saturday in the wreckage of a helicopter that disappeared in the mountains in northern Italy two days ago, with no survivors, emergency services said.
Four Turkish citizens were on board the helicopter which went missing on Thursday, the Turkish foreign ministry said, while Italian media reports said two Lebanese were also on board.
The pilot was Italian, originally from Venice, according to the ANSA news agency, which reported that the others had been on a business trip.
"After the discovery on Mount Cusna of the remains of the aircraft that disappeared on June 9, the unfortunately lifeless bodies of the seven people on board were found in the wreckage," Italy's fire service announced on Twitter.
The alpine rescue service added on Twitter that "no survivors have been found".
In a statement issued on Friday, before the wreckage was found, the Turkish foreign ministry confirmed four of its citizens were on board a helicopter that disappeared after leaving the city of Lucca on Thursday.
The Italian Air Force, fire and police services were all involved in the search, but the helicopter went missing in a sparsely populated mountainous area, and bad weather hampered the first attempts to find it.
In a video posted on Twitter, an unnamed spokesman for the Italian Air Force on Saturday said that after the wreckage was confirmed through aerial observations, rescue teams had to go in on foot.
"We went to the place and found everything burned," he said, adding that the helicopter was effectively inside a valley.
A spokesman for the Alpine rescue service had told AFP on Friday that such a search "is not easy, if a helicopter falls amongst trees, in this season the branches close over it and it is complicated to see it from the sky."