UPDATE: Helicopter chartered by French Oil Company Perenco has crashed in a remote northern part of Peru, killing all 13 Peruvians aboard. Perenco said in a statement that the MI-8 helicopter carrying 13 Peruvians was on a flight from the Amazon city of Iquitos to its Block 67 field Sunday when it crashed for an as yet undetermined reason.
It was the deadliest helicopter accident in the country since June 2010, when a chopper chartered by Samsung C&T Corp. (000830) and Korea Engineering Consultants Corp. (023350)crashed in the southern jungle, killing 14, El Comercio said.
Perenco confirmed the accident, adding “at this stage, no survivors have been found.” A Peruvian official usually has to confirm a death toll in an accident before a company can publicly confirm the casualties.
Peru’s air force said it has sent a Twin Otter plane to the Curaray river area near the oil field. Perenco said the armed forces had begun rescue operations but that so far “no survivors have been found.”
There were nine passengers and four crewmembers on board, it added.
“The Peruvian Army is at the scene and two additional helicopters are supporting the rescue efforts,” Perenco said in a statement.
Media reports initially put the death toll at nine. The crash took place in the Curaray River area, far northeast of the capital, Lima.