Eight people are confirmed dead after a Eurocopter Super Puma helicopter went down in the North Sea. The crash happened Wednesday, April 1, just before 2 p.m. British Standard Time, 40 miles north east of Aberdeen, Scotland. The helicopter was returning from British Petroleum’s Miller Field with 14 passengers and two crewmembers on board.
Two Royal Air Force helicopters and a Nimrod airplane are involved in the search-and-rescue operation. A nearby supply vessel, the Normand Aurora, is helping look for survivors with a fast response boat. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond described the incident as a massive tragedy and said, “This is looking like the second most serious helicopter incident in North Sea history.”
Weather conditions were reported as good with light winds and wave heights of only half a meter. Officials are not able to provide any further information regarding a possible cause at this time.
The AS 332L Super Puma was operated by Aberdeen-based Bond Offshore Helicopters. This is the company’s second North Sea accident in less than two months. On Feb. 18 another Super Puma came down 125 miles east of Aberdeen in foggy weather. All 18 people on board were rescued.