Investigation launched into helicopter crash killing 7 in Istanbul

Investigation launched into helicopter crash killing 7 in Istanbul

Investigation launched into helicopter crash killing 7 in Istanbul

The daughter of killed pilot Alattin Nacar, Selin Nacar, looks at her father's coffin during a funeral in Istanbul on March 11. / AA Photo

Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into a civilian helicopter crash in Istanbul on March 10 that killed seven people aboard the chopper.

The prosecutor’s office opened an investigation with two public prosecutors into the incident, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Seven people, three Turkish citizens and four Russians, were killed on March 10 when a civilian helicopter owned by a private company, Swan Aviation, and which was carrying business executives from Eczacıbaşı crashed in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district.

Crime scene investigation and accident investigation teams examined the scene of the accident under the supervision of the two public prosecutors. The teams’ findings are expected to be gathered in a preliminary report, which will be presented to the public prosecutor’s office.

All parts of the Sikorsky S-76 model helicopter were collected and technical investigation on these parts will be conducted, Anadolu Agency reported.

Even though the cause of the crash is not yet defined, early witness accounts suggested that the helicopter hit the top antenna of a 257-meter-high TV tower near the scene.

There was also speculating that foggy weather may have played a role in the crash, but the Transportation, Marine and Communications Ministry later said in a statement that weather conditions were normal at the time of takeoff but that the helicopter subsequently crashed into the TV tower.

Eczacıbaşı Holding confirmed on March 10 in a written statement that Eczacıbaşı Building Products Russia Country Director Salim Özen, Russia Regional Sales Manager Aleksandr Vanin, Russian guests Igor Kochergin, Luidmila Chuprova, Elena Badragan, as well as Turkish pilots Alaattin Nacar and Ahmet Bulut were onboard the crashed helicopter.

While a funeral was held for Özen, a separate funeral was held for Nacar and Bulut in Istanbul on March 11. The bodies of the Russian citizens were set to be sent to their home towns in Russia after official procedure is finalized, according to the Eczacıbaşı Holding.

Eczacıbaşı Holding head Bülent Eczacıbaşı attended the funeral on March 11.