Turkish S-70 helicopter with senior officers aboard crashes in mountainous terrain

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A Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk helicopter of Turkish Gendarmerie, with senior officers on board, has crashed in the country’s northern province of Giresun on the Black Sea coast, Turkish media reports say.

The incident took place in the highlands of Giresun on Tuesday.

There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties. According to CNN Turk television, six people were killed. However, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “Five deaths and perhaps more.”

Speaking in the western province in Izmir, the premier also said the accident was caused by poor weather.

Likewise, there were different reports on the number of passengers with Turkey’s private Dogan news agency and CNN Turk television putting it at 11 and 15, respectively.

Dogan reported that the officers were travelling to the region to meet local troops for Eid al-Fitr celebrations, marking the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

A brigadier general, a colonel and two majors were among those on board the chopper when it crashed, the report added.

Meanwhile, CNN-Turk television said the Sikorsky S-70 crashed in bad weather in the mountainous area, adding that a brigadier general, several other officers as well as civilians and children – relatives of soldiers were on the copter – were among those on board.

There was no immediate information on the cause of the crash.

Search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the scene.

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