Emergency services say helicopter carrying 13 crashes at Norway coast

A large search and rescue operation was launched Friday after a helicopter ferrying North Sea oil platform workers crashed off the coast of western Norway, Norwegian emergency services said.

Initial reports said there were 11 passengers and two crew members onboard, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Sola, southern Norway told public broadcaster NRK.

"We don't know much other than that the helicopter was completely destroyed," the spokesman said.

NRK showed images of smoke billowing from the crash site near Turoy, about 40 kilometres from the city of Bergen.

A witness told NRK he heard a loud bang and an explosion when the helicopter hit the ground.

Helicopters and boats have been deployed to the scene. Part of the the wreckage was located on a small island, and also in the sea.

Last update: Fri, 29/04/2016 - 13:59

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