All thirteen passengers onboard an offshore helicopter are presumed dead by Norwegian authorities following a catastrophic crash.
Oil major Statoil broke the news Friday morning, after the flight failed to return from its Gullfaks B platform, offshore Bergen.
Norwegian authorities quickly confirmed eleven dead, out of the total thirteen onboard, having recovered bodies of the victims.
Bodies of the remaining two personnel are yet to be found, however due to the servility of the crash site, authorities have now made the announcement that all thirteen passengers are presumed dead.
Offshore Helicopter Crash
“At 12.20 pm Statoil received notification of a helicopter accident. The helicopter was en route from Gullfaks B to Bergen.” said Statoil in a statement early Friday.
The helicopter, a CHC Scotia operated EC225 Super Puma, crashed on the west coastline of Turøy, an island close to Norway’s second city of Bergen, and just nine minutes from where it was due to land- at bergen airport.
Statoil North Sea Map Showing Offshore Helicopter Crash Site At Turøy
Rotor Blades Detach
Reports came earlier that the helicopter had fallen rapidly, 2000 feet in approximately 10 seconds, before smashing into rocks along the coastline and exploding on impact.
Eye witnesses claimed to have seen the entire rotor blade assembly, detached from the helicopter’s main body, still falling to the ground between 20 – 30 seconds after the initial explosion. Video footage filmed by an eye witness has since confirmed this.
This Video Has No Audio
All 13 Dead
Although only eleven bodies have been found, Norwegian authorities have said that they now presume all thirteen onboard to be dead, due to the severity of the crash site.
“Based on the findings at the scene and the information contained therein, we believe there is no reason to believe that anyone has survived,” said Terje Magnussen, Senior Operations in Western Police District.
Responding to the news, Statoil Executive Vice President, Arne Sigve Nylund, said: “Today, we have been hit by a terrible tragedy, one of the most severe helicopter accidents in the history of the Norwegian oil industry.”
“It is with great sorrow we have received the message that 13 people have been involved in this accident. More than anything, our thoughts are now with those who have lost their loved ones, and an entire industry extends its sympathy to them.”
Breaking: Offshore Helicopter Crash
13 Offshore Workers
Of the thirteen onboard, two were CHC Scotia helicopter crew, whilst the remainder were subcontractors working for Statoil retiring from the Gullfaks B platform.
Of the eleven offshore workers, one was an employee of Statoil; four employees of Halliburton; three employees from Aker Solutions; one employee of Schlumberger; one employee of the company WellTec; and one employee of Karsten Moholt AS.
“We will now do everything we can to give them our support and assistance. The deceased were employed in different companies, but they were all on a mission for Statoil,” concluded Arne Sigve Nylund.
Little of the helicopter remains, however what wreckage does remain has mostly been recovered, and is being sent for analysis. The helicopters black box has also been recovered, although no comment has been given on its condition, or whether any useful data has been recovered.
CHC Scotia Operated EC 225 Super Puma Offshore Helicopter
All EC225 Super Puma helicopters have now been grounded by Norwegian authorities pending an investigation.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has also followed suite and grounded all helicopters of the same model from flying commercial operations pending the investigation.
A centre for next of kin has been established at Scandic Bergen Airport Hotel, where a minister to seamen, psychologists and other personnel with experience from following up next of kin and others affected are available.Last updated on 12:25AM - 30/04/16