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News Center, Wisma TV, Kuala Lumpur: Chopper crashes, all 13 on board safe

Posted by: admin on Sunday, June 19, 2005 – 01:37 AM
Bintulu – A Malaysia Helicopter Services (MHS) chopper crashed at sea near the Shell Malaysia B11 oil rig, some 170km off Bintulu in Sarawak, at about noon Saturday but all 13 people o­n board, including the two pilots, are safe.

Shell Malaysia said all the 11 passengers, eight Malaysians, two New Zealanders and a Briton,  and the Malaysian pilots were evacuated by another helicopter to Miri for observation and medical treatment.

One of the passengers is reported to have sustained bruises.

The oil company said all family members of the passengers and pilots had been notified.

The company’s emergency response team continues to monitor the situation and will lend full assistance to later investigations into the incident.

The oil company said the mishap happened at about 12.05 pm when the helicopter, o­n a routine flight, encountered difficulties near the B11 platform and crashed into the water.

The chopper, o­ne of three contracted from MHS for Shell Malaysia’s upstream activities, was enroute to B11 from the Miri helibase.

The identities of the passengers and pilots have yet to be released.

In Miri, next-of-kin gathered at the Columbia Medical Centre where those o­n board had been brought for observation and medical treatment.

Reporters were also there to attempt to get eye-witness accounts of the incident, but they were prevented from talking to anyone.

Nevertheless, according to o­ne of the passengers, the mishap happened about 11km from the B 11 platform, and the incident was seen by personnel at the platform.

He said the helicopter was at a height of about 4,000 feet when those o­n board realised that something was wrong. Then, at about 1,000 feet, the chopper spun and crashed into the water.

All the passengers and the pilots managed to emerge from the sinking helicopter and were rescued by the oil company’s emergency response team.

He said that thanks to the experienced pilots and the high level of safety standards practised by Shell, they managed to evade a worst situation had they landed o­n the platform.
c) 2005 Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)

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