Peru police find helicopter crash as any survivors unknown

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, June 9, 2012 16:30 EDT
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A Peruvian police high mountain rescue team walks Friday in the Hualla Hualla area  (AFP)
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Police searchers on Saturday found the helicopter that vanished in the Peruvian Andes with 14 people aboard, but do not know yet if there are survivors, Police General Hector Dulanto told AFP.

A team of police mountain climbers found the helicopter crash site at 4,900 meters (16,000 feet) above sea level at mid-morning near Mount Mamarosa, Dulanto, a regional police commander in Cuscodepartment, told AFP by telephone.

“We found the aircraft, but I can give you no information on the bodies,” Dulanto said.

Authorities have sent equipment for recovering bodies in the event it is needed.

On board the Sikorsky S-58 ET were eight South Koreans, a Czech, a Swede, a Dutch citizen and three Peruvians — two of them crew — according to helicopter owner HeliCusco.

The chopper vanished in a mountain region on Wednesday, on a flight from Mazuco, in Madre de Dios department, to Cusco.

Rain and snow had been major obstacles to the rescue workers until now.

The helicopter lost contact with its base in Hualla Hualla between the towns of Ocongate and Marcapata, near the snowcapped Apu Colque Cruz peak.

In Seoul, the foreign ministry said the South Koreans were engineers and officials from four South Korean companies on their way back to Cusco after conducting aerial surveillance on a possible site for a hydroelectric project near Puno in southern Peru.

Two officials from the South Korean embassy in Lima were in Cusco to monitor the search and rescue operations.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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