One dead, five injured in Norway helicopter crash


  • World
  • Thursday, 29 Feb 2024

OSLO (Reuters) -One person died and five were injured when a helicopter crash-landed in the ocean off western Norway, police said on Thursday, leading to a temporary halt in transport to and from the country's offshore oil and gas platforms.

The Sikorsky S-92 aircraft operated by Bristow Norway was on a search and rescue training mission on Wednesday when the accident occurred, officials have said.

The six crew members were all hoisted from the sea by rescue workers, but one was later declared dead in hospital, police said in a statement.

One of the surviving crew members was in a critical condition on Thursday and one was severely injured while the remaining three suffered lighter injuries, the hospital treating them said in an update on social media platform X.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

"We have sent crash inspectors to Stavanger and Bergen to investigate the accident," Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority head William Bertheussen told Reuters.

The two cities are the busiest hubs for Norway's extensive oil and gas industry, which produces around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Bristow Group said in a statement it was fully cooperating with authorities responding to the incident and that the company was in the process of collecting relevant information.

Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky, which manufactured the helicopter, said on Wednesday that safety was its top priority and that it stood ready to support the investigation.

Energy group Equinor said the helicopter was a search and rescue aircraft normally serving platforms at the company's Oseberg oil and gas field in the North Sea.

"We have confidence both in the type of helicopter and in the operators," Equinor CEO Anders Opedal told public broadcaster NRK.

Still, Equinor halted all regular helicopter flights to its oil and gas platforms in Norway out of consideration for those affected and to get an overview of the situation.

"The company aims to get the helicopters back to normal operation quickly and is now making the necessary preparations to achieve this safely," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo and Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen; Editing by Kim Coghill and Toby Chopra)

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