Update: 13 presumed dead in heli crash off Norway

Update 11 confirmed dead in heli crash off NorwayA CHC-operated helicopter carrying offshore workers crashed near Bergen, offshore Norway on Friday.

According to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Norway, eleven bodies have been found.

The helicopter was on its way from Statoil’s Gullfaks B platform when it crashed.

The production at Gullfaks B has been temporarily shut down.

Search for the remaining two workers was halted on Friday at 17:00, with Norwegian JRCC saying all 13 persons who were aboard are now presumed dead.

Names of eight workers who died in the accident have been revealed.

Scroll down for updates. Latest info on the bottom.


According to Stavanger Aftenblad, there were 13 people aboard the helicopter, two pilots and eleven passengers.

The helicopter was reportedly on its way back to land from Statoil’s Gullfaks B platform. According to Heliport.no, a helicopter from Gullfaks B, was scheduled to land at Bergen’s Flesland airport at 12:08 local time.

-Flightradar24 reports that the helicopter was probably an Eurocopter EC225 from CHC Helikopter

-Offshore Energy Today has contacted CHC and Petroleum Safety Authority seeking confirmation and more info. We will update the article if we get a response.

-Citing police reports, NRK.no says that the helicopter has crashed near Turøy in Hordaland, and that so far there is no sign of survivors.

-NRK has also managed to obtain a confirmation that the helicopter is indeed owned by CHC. The website is also live streaming rescue attempts: https://bit.ly/1TA6Ib7

-Statoil has issued the following statement: “Today, April 29, at 12.20 pm Statoil received notification of a helicopter accident on the Norwegian continental shelf. Statoil has mobilized its emergency response organization.”

-Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Twitter: Horrifying reports about helicopter accident at Sotra. I am being kept informed about the rescue work.

-According to Heliport.no, Statoil has halted all helicopter traffic until further notice

-Local news website, Bergen Tidende, cites a police spokesperson who said that casualties have been found – on land. The spokesperson could not confirm the number.

-The oil and gas industry watchdog, Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, has set up emergency response centre at about 12.30 on Friday in order to follow up the accident. The PSA said it wouldn’t be answering questions from the media related to the accident, as it is not the responsible authority for aviation.

“Because of our relationship to our business and our responsibility, we follow closely the accident from our emergency response center,” the PSA said.

-Reuters has cited the police spokesperson who said: “We have not found any survivors. We are still looking. We are searching a large ocean area.”

-Statoil has issued another statement confirming 13 people were on board the CHC helicopter.

“Statoil has temporarily grounded all equivalent traffic helicopters. The rescue operation is led and coordinated by the rescue coordination centre, and Statoil is providing additional resources. Statoil has mobilised its entire emergency response organisation,” Statoil said.

The oil company also said the location of the crash was outside Turøy in Øygarden municipality outside Bergen.

-Statoil has set up a phone line for the relatives of the passengers: 800 500 20

 

Eleven confirmed dead

According to HRS Sor-Norge, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre , eleven people have been found, none of them alive. Of the 13 people aboard the helicopter there were 11 Norwegians, 1 Briton and 1 Italian.

-Aker Solutions, oilfield services provider has mobilized its emergency response teams in Norway.

However the company could not say if there were Aker Solutions’ workers aboard the aircraft

“At this point, the company does not have further details about the incident and does not have information on whether Aker Solutions’ employees were on board the helicopter.”

 

-A tweet by The Press & Journal shows what appears to be a photo of the crash site, with a plume thick smoke rising into the sky

 

 

Previous issues

 

-According to the Norwegian Aviation Authority, the helicopter was registered in Norway on 13 August 2009 and was shipped directly from the manufacturer. The helicopter has valid airworthiness documents.

The aviation authority says there have been challenges with this type of helicopter in 2012 when errors in the main gearbox were found. The manufacturer then produced a modification that was approved by EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the error has been corrected for the entire fleet with EC225LP, the aviation authority says.Statoil Turoy Helicopter Map

Helicopter under water

-According to NKR.no the helicopter hit the edge of the Turoy island, after falling from a height of 640 meters. The rotor blades were reportedly found on land, while the parte of the helicopter fuselage are 5-7 meters under water, about 20 meters from shore.

NRK also reports that the same type of helicopter crashed in Norway in 1997 when 12 people died.

CHC Statement

In a statement sent to Offshore Energy Today CHC has confirmed through a media release that one of its aircraft in Norway has been involved in an accident.

CHC said: “The details surrounding the event are still emerging and a full Emergency Response Plan has been initiated. The relevant authorities have been advised and we are working closely with them and our customer to gather as much factual information as possible. At this time, speculation would be unhelpful and we are working with the OEM on any actions that may be deemed appropriate going forward. Our thoughts are with those who may have been affected by this accident.”

 

Aker workers aboard

Aker Solutions has confirmed its employees were aboard the helicopter. Read more here: https://bit.ly/1WvPL3V

 

Airbus “deeply saddened”

The manufacturer of the helicopter Airbus said: “Airbus Helicopters is deeply saddened by this tragedy. We express our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives, friends and colleagues. Safety is Airbus Helicopters’ top priority and we are providing our full support to both the accident investigators as well as CHC. Airbus Helicopters teams are fully mobilized to understand the root cause of the accident. At this time we do not have any further information and we will provide relevant update as it becomes available.”

 

All EC225 helicopters grounded

Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority has grounded all EC225 type helicopters until further notice. More here: https://bit.ly/23era43

Norwegian Aftonbladet reports that a crane barge has lifted the tail of the helicopter and brought it ashore.

Gullfaks production shut

Statoil has said that the production at Gullfaks B has been temporarily shut down, and emergency personnel has been sent out to assist those on board.

 

All 13 presumed dead

Search for the remaining two workers was halted on Friday at 17:00, with Norwegian JRCC saying all 13 persons who were aboard are now presumed dead.

-Names of eight workers who died in the accident have been revealed. More here: https://bit.ly/1pWt3oW

-More than 11.000 people have so far signed a petition calling for the Airbus EC225 Super Puma helicopter to be retired. More here: https://bit.ly/1TpmYck

 

 

 

More to follow…


Do you have more info on the story? Please send your e-mails to bt@navingo.com

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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