Police helicopter crashes in İstanbul, killing four

Police helicopter crashes in İstanbul, killing four

May 20, 2011, Friday/ 17:13:00

A police helicopter crashed into the waters of the Bosporus Strait on Friday, killing four people.

Five people were aboard the helicopter that went down off the coast of Beykoz on the Asian side of the Bosporus. One person survived the crash with injuries while the four others, including one child, were killed. "It is a very saddening accident. We lost four friends of ours," Hüseyin Çapkın, head of the İstanbul Police Department, told reporters after visiting the sole survivor of the crash, pilot Kemal Özdemir at an İstanbul hospital.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but authorities said a malfunction appears to be a possible reason. Speaking to reporters, İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said the reason behind the crash would be determined following an examination of the helicopter's wreckage, which is yet to be found.

"It is possible that it was caused by a technical malfunction because there is nothing in the area that the helicopter could crash into and the weather conditions were also fine," he said.

The private Cihan news agency earlier said those onboard the helicopter were a senior police official -- identified as Ragıp Ali Bilgen, who heads the Information Technologies Department at the İstanbul Police Department -- his child, two pilots and an official from Turkish Airlines.

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