5 die in helicopter crash in Romania

Apr 26, 2012, 7:35 PM

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – A helicopter crashed in eastern Romania on Thursday, killing all five people it was carrying, officials said.

The aircraft was traveling from Moldova to Turkey when it went down near the Romanian village of Ostrov, close to the Moldovan border, local official Vasile Gudu told Realitatea TV. He said everyone on board was Ukrainian. Police spokeswoman Daniela Condrea told The Associated Press nobody survived the crash.

Air traffic control official Bogdan Donciu identified the aircraft as a Ukrainian Ka26 helicopter, which is normally used for agricultural purposes, not civilian flights. He said it was flying in an area outside air traffic control when it crashed.

Given those unusual circumstances, chief Romanian prosecutor Laura Codrut Kovesi dispatched a team of prosecutors and criminal investigators to the accident site.

The remote region of eastern Romania where the crash occurred is near the borders of non-European Union countries Moldova and Ukraine in an area where trafficking in illegal immigrants and cigarettes is prevalent.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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5 die in helicopter crash in Romania