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Helicopter with Business Executives Crashes in Istanbul Outskirts, 5 Dead | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People walk next to the remains after a helicopter crashed in Istanbul’s Buyukcekmece district, Friday, March 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Five people were killed including several Russians when a helicopter owned by the Turkish Eczabicasi group crashed in the outskirts of Istanbul on Friday, the provincial governor said.

The helicopter crashed onto a highway shortly after take-off from Istanbul’s main Ataturk airport. It was on its way to another district of the city, state-run news agency Anadolu said without giving further details.

Turkish media speculated that foggy weather may have caused the crash in Buyukcekmece, a western district of Istanbul.

State media and other reports said the helicopter hit a television tower but Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin was unable to confirm this, saying investigations were taking place.

The tower, which is no longer used for transmitting television signals but has a restaurant at the top, did not appear to be damaged.

Two pilots and five passengers were on board the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, the private Dogan news agency said.

“According to initial information, five died,” Sahin told reporters.

Bulent Eczacibasi, the chairman of the conglomerate, confirmed in televised comments that “four Russian guests” were on board the aircraft as well as a company executive.

Turkish media images showed the helicopter in pieces and thick black smoke as rescue teams continued their search.

The road where the helicopter crashed was largely deserted at the time and no-one on the ground was hurt. The highway was closed off to traffic following the crash.

Istanbul has seen thick layers of fog in the past few days causing disruption to travel with flights and ferry services cancelled earlier this month.