Police: All 16 aboard British helicopter dead in crash

Other News Materials 2 April 2009 15:41 (UTC +04:00)

British police on Thursday said that there was no hope of finding any survivors from the North Sea helicopter that crashed into the North Sea off the coast of Scotland the day before, reported dpa.

Coastguards and the Royal Air Force launched a major search-and- rescue operation shortly after the oil-platform helicopter crashed with 16 people aboard.

As of late Wednesday, police in the port city of Aberdeen confirmed that eight bodies had been recovered and that another eight were unaccounted for.

The Puma helicopter was returning from an oil platform in the North Sea operated by British Petroleum (BP) when it came down some 50 kilometres from Aberdeen.

A spokesman for the Air Accident Investigation Branch said it was "not possible to speculate on the cause of the accident at this stage."

Helicopter operator Bond confirmed it was one of its aircraft which was involved in the incident, which comes around six weeks after a Bond Super Puma with 18 people on board ditched in the North Sea. Everyone survived that accident.

BP said it would for a time suspend the use of Bond helicopters for transporting North Sea workers as a mark of respect.

A spokesman for Bond said: "We appreciate BP's action and we will be working with them to resume services."