All 13 on crashed Norwegian helicopter identified, police say

Norwegian police said Monday they have identified all 13 people who died last week when a helicopter carrying North Sea oil platform workers crashed on Norway's western coast.

Eleven of the deceased in Friday's crash were Norwegian nationals, one was a British citizen and one was Italian, investigators told public broadcaster NRK.

The Eurocopter model EC225 aircraft was bound for Bergen from the Gullfaks B oil platform, operated by Norwegian energy company Statoil, when it crashed near Turoy, about 40 kilometres from its destination.

It was carrying 11 passengers and two crew members. One of the pilots was Italian, the other was Norwegian.

The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board told NRK that data had been successfully retrieved from the helicopter's flight data and cockpit voice recorders that were sent to Britain for analysis at the weekend.

The cause of the accident remains unknown.

Part of the wreckage was salvaged late Friday from the sea at a depth of six to seven metres. The rotor blade was found earlier on a small island.

On Monday, Statoil chief executive Eldar Saetre visited the platform, telling reporters on his return to the mainland that the company would commission its own probe into the accident to "learn as much as possible." Statoil was committed to safety, he added.

Employees in the oil and gas industry held a minute of silence to honour the victims.  

Energy company Shell, meanwhile, said it would for now suspend its use of the CHC Helicopter Service that operated the crashed aircraft, pending a review of the company's safety routines.

Last update: Mon, 02/05/2016 - 18:59
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