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All 9 aboard rescue chopper crashed in Japan confirmed dead

AP  |  Tokyo 

All nine people aboard a Japanese search and helicopter that crashed into the central mountains were confirmed dead today, authorities said.

The 412EP helicopter carrying seven local workers from the prefecture and two from a flight service company lost contact about an hour after takeoff yesterday and crashed.

Prefectural officials said the last person aboard was retrieved Saturday and pronounced dead.

The helicopter was on a two-hour flight to monitor the opening of a mountain trail. The prefecture said it cancelled today's event due to the accident. It wasn't clear what caused the crash.

An investigation continued today at the mountainside crash site, where debris of the helicopter was scattered and trees torn down apparently from the impact of the fall.

Japanese media quoted witnesses as saying the helicopter was flying extremely low in foggy weather before the crash. The data sent from the helicopter indicated it was making a turn a minute before the transmission stopped, reported. It said the helicopter was not carrying a flight data recorder.

Prefectural officials said the helicopter, which was about 20 years old, had its engine repaired in April but had no abnormality since it resumed operations in June.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 11 2018. 12:30 IST