13 people feared dead as oil platform helicopter crashes near the Norwegian coast

Thirteen people are feared dead after a helicopter crashed on the coast of Norway. They were on board a Eurocopter 225, which came down near the small island of Turoy, just west of the village of Solsvik. Witnesses said the aircraft was destroyed in the accident and pictures from the scene showed thick smoke coming from an area of rocky islets. Rescuers said 11 bodies had been found but two people were still missing. An Italian, a Briton and 11 Norwegians were said to have been on board.

I head a helicopter coming from the North Sea. It was a strange sound. As I looked up the rotor flew off to the left as the helicopter came down to the right. The helicopter exploded when it hit the ground. It was frightening

Witness Jon Sekkingstad

The helicopter, which had a crew of two, was transporting 11 workers to an oil field in the North Sea. Norwegian oil company Statoil has confirmed the it was heading from its Gullfaks B platform to the city of Bergen. It was thought to have been operated by the CHC Helicopter Group, which specialises in providing offshore transportation to the oil-and-gas industry. TV footage showed leisure boats rushing toward the scene of the crash, where thick black smoke was billowing into the sky. Police spokesman Morten Kronen said: “We have not found any survivors. We are still looking. We are searching a large ocean area.”

There are a lot of people who can help in the area, but the Rescue Coordination Center has requested vessels with the capacity to dive.

Ivar Moen, from the Rescue Coordination Center for South Norway