LOCAL >Russian, Turkish crew members killed in helicopter crash

MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency

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A helicopter helping to extinguish a wildfire near the village of Otmanlar in the town of Köyceğiz, Muğla has crashed. Of the helicopter’s crew of five people, three are confirmed dead and two are missing and presumed dead.

The wildfire broke out due to unknown causes in the Eğridere region near Otmanlar Village earlier yesterday. The Russian-made KA-32T-type helicopter was sent to the area to assist the firefighting teams. The helicopter, with its crew including Turkish pilot Atıf Ateşok, forest conservation worker Orhan Çelik, two Russian pilots and one Russian technician crashed around 3:20 p.m. for undetermined reasons near the Kepez fire tower. Search helicopters were sent to the area upon receiving reports from villagers that the helicopter had crashed.

“A helicopter that had joined the efforts to extinguish the wildfire in Otmanlar has crashed. There were two foreign pilots, one foreign technician, and one Turkish pilot and one Turkish forest management worker on board,” Muğla Region Forestry Manager Ali Yıldırım said.

Ateşok was present and had been injured in a helicopter crash while attempting to extinguish a fire in the town of Kaş in the southern province of Antalya on Aug. 28, 2006. The helicopter that crashed in 2006 was also a Russian KA-32, reports say. Manufactured by the Russian Kamov company, The KA-32 helicopter was designed to be used on Soviet naval ships. The helicopter has two main rotors as well as an additional propeller on its back end for directional control. Russia rents out many of its helicopters to various European countries for fire-extinguishing purposes.


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