Bell 412EP helicopter with 9 people on board crash near Gunma prefecture
All nine crew members of a rescue helicopter which crashed on an eastern Japan mountain were confirmed dead Saturday, local authorities said.
The contact of the rescue helicopter of Gunma prefecture with the ground was lost after 10:01 LT, and was subsequently found crashed near Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane, Gunma prefecture before 15:00 LT. Eight of nine souls on board were found near the wreckage, and two of them were confirmed dead.
Two of the crew had been confirmed dead Friday after the helicopter, which was checking a mountain trail ahead of its opening to climbers, went down near the prefectural border of Gunma and Nagano earlier that day.
Bodies of the remaining seven crew were recovered from the crash site as the search operation resumed Saturday morning and around 160 rescuers, police officials and Self-Defense Force personnel entered the area by foot.
While the cause of the crash is not yet known, eyewitnesses said the helicopter, belonging to the Gunma prefectural government and operated by a Tokyo-based aviation company Toho Air Service, was flying at a very low altitude. One eyewitness said the engine was making an unusual sound.
Police, firefighter, and the Self Defense Force searching for it, it was found that “Haruna” crashed in the mountains near the prefectural border afterward.
According to the explanation of Gumma prefecture, “Haruna” flew the heliport in Maebashi City at 9 am on the 10th, flew over the Torii Pass and Otakayama at the border with Nagano Prefecture, before 11 am I was planning to return to the helipad, but communication lasted ten o’clock in the morning.
Discovery on 10th is canceled
Police and fire department headed to the crash site to search for the remaining passenger, but according to the staff of the Gunma prefectural police officer, because the weather is bad as the sun is dark near the site, the secondary disaster It is said that there was a risk of being out of action before 8 PM.
The search of 11th is supposed to consider while watching the weather conditions