Scot Among Dead From Norway Heli Crash

1 May 2016, 09:14

Helicopter in skies above Suffolk

A 41-year-old man working for oilfield services company Halliburton was among 13 people killed in a helicopter crash in Norway.

A man from Aberdeenshire was amongst those who died when the helicopter they were travelling ditched in the North Sea on Friday.

The Super Puma was carrying two crew and 11 passengers from the Gullfaks B oil field, around 74 miles (120 kilometres) off the Norwegian coast when it crashed en route to Flesland Airport in Bergen on Friday.

Field operators Statoil said the pilots - a Norwegian and an Italian - were CHC Helicopter staff and the Briton killed was a 41-year-old working for Houston-based Halliburton.

The 10 other Norwegian passengers were employed by companies including Schlumberger, Aker Solutions, and Statoil. Their names have not yet been released.

All UK commercial passenger flights using the Airbus EC225LP - or Super Puma - model have been grounded by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) following the accident.

The aircraft shattered into pieces when it smashed into the rocky shoreline of Turoey, a tiny island outside Bergen, Norway's second-largest city.

Emergency crews pulled the wrecked fuselage out of the sea on Saturday ahead of an investigation into the cause.

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority said the helicopter's flight recorders would be sent to Britain where data from the black boxes would be read.

The UK CAA said in a statement: ''Following the accident the CAA has issued an instruction to stop any commercial passenger flights by UK operators flying the Airbus EC225LP helicopter.

''This mirrors action taken by the Norwegian CAA. The restriction does not apply to search and rescue flights.''

A team from the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was due to travel to Norway to assist with the investigation because it has carried out inquiries into several crashes involving helicopters operating to and from offshore oil and gas fields in recent years.

A statement from Halliburton said: ''Halliburton is saddened to confirm four employees died in the helicopter accident that occurred yesterday off the coast of Norway.

''We are working with local emergency officials as they continue their investigation into this tragic event.

''Our thoughts and prayers are with our employees and their loved ones. Out of respect for the families' privacy, we are not releasing any additional information at this time.''

There have been five incidents involving Super Pumas operating in the UK oil and gas industry since 2009.

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