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Four dead, six injured as helicopter crashes into Lagos lagoon

At least four people were killed and six injured when a helicopter returning from an oil rig crashed into the lagoon near the Oworonshoki end of the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Wednesday.

The twin-engine Sikorsky, operated by the US-based Bristow Group, came down behind a police station. The National Emergency Management Agency said two people were still missing.

“Four dead bodies (have been) recovered so far,” said NEMA spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye, adding that the injured had been taken to two hospitals.

“Efforts are still on to find the remaining passengers as well as the debris of the helicopter,” Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office said in a statement.

A witness told Channels TV  that the helicopter made a loud noise before nose-diving into the water near the 12km Third Mainland Bridge, the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland.

Texas-based Bristow’s fleet of around 500 helicopters services the global energy industry and it has transportation operations in Nigeria and most other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world.

The company released a statement confirming the crash and saying the helicopter had been on approach to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

“The aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C+, was returning from a drilling rig offshore. Preliminary information indicates that the aircraft carried 10 passengers and a crew of two, subject to confirmation,” the statement said.

The company added that it had mobilised its incident response team and was “fully cooperating” with local authorities involved in the rescue effort.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by this accident,” Bristow’s Africa director Duncan Moore was quoted as saying.

“Our highest priority is to take care of our crew and clients and their family members and provide them with any assistance needed.”

The nationalities of the passengers and crew has not been revealed.


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