Helicopter crashes out Tallinn, 14 feared dead

  • 2005-08-10
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN 's A commercial helicopter on flight from Tallinn to Helsinki crashed into the sea not for from Estonia on Wednesday. Twelve passengers and two crew were on board, and no one has been rescued by mid-afternoon.

Citizens of Finland, Estonia and the United States were on board the helicopter, which belonged to Copterline Eesti, a company that carries out flights between the two capitals.

Company representative Tonis Lepp said that there were six Finnish nationals, four Estonians and two U.S. citizens on board.

A spokesman for the Border Guard board told the Baltic News Service that only one of the propeller blades was visible above the water surface, but there were no sign of people.

The helicopter, a Sikorsky s-76 C+, departed Tallinn at 12.40 and fell into the sea near the island of Naissaar, which is near Tallinn.

The navy dispatched four divers to the scene in a rubber boat, and a minesweeper unit was also on its way to act support rescue efforts.

Spokespeople for the Interior Ministry said border guard boats with rescue equipment were heading to the scene.

Finland has asked to send a helicopter.

The Rescue Board's deputy chief Alo Tammsalu said emergency medical services in Tallinn were in a stepped-up status of alert to be ready to accept possible victims.

Copterline operates 12-seat passenger helicopters between Tallinn and Helsinki, making 28 departures on weekdays.