Kevin Black, Managing Director of Lukoil Overseas notes in a phone call there were 8 personnel aboard the Airbus helicopter when it crashed into the ocean off Ghana on Thursday. The aircraft was owned and operated by South African helicopter operator International Aircraft Services (IAS).
Four are still missing and a search for the missing is currently underway. In addition, Lukoil notes a vessel has been contracted to help locate the helicopter using sidescan sonar and an ROV.
British, French, Nigerian and Ghanian citizens are amongst the missing according to Lukoil.
Those aboard the helicopter were contractors from Schlumberger and Oceaneering. There were no Transocean or Lukoil employees aboard the helicopter at the time of the incident.
Earlier report, via Reuters:
ACCRA, May 8 (Reuters) – A service helicopter carrying workers to an oil rig off the coast of Ghana operated by Russia’s Lukoil crashed into the ocean on Thursday, killing at least three people, a military spokesman said.
Four people were rescued and another was missing, military spokesman Mbawine Attintande said. Lukoil did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said the incident occurred after the helicopter, operated by Ghana’s Volta River Aviation, took off from the western port of Takoradi on its way to the Jack Ryan oil rig near the giant Jubilee field.
The Air Force sent a helicopter at 2:38 p.m. (1438 GMT) to conduct a search after contact with the flight was lost, the GCAA added.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Emma Farge and Robin Pomeroy)
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