Related News

Home » Metro

Search for missing man after helicopter plunges into sea

ONE man is missing after a helicopter with four people on board plunged into the East China Sea at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port shortly after take-off from the Snow Dragon ice breaker yesterday morning.

The wreckage of the helicopter was lifted out of water at 10:55 last night, less than three hours after divers found it almost a nautical mile from the crash site, Xinhua news agency reported. But there was no sign of the missing mechanic, Yang Yongchang.

The pilot, co-pilot and another mechanic were pulled to safety shortly after the crash and were in a stable condition in hospital last night, the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration said.

The helicopter made an emergency landing from a height of about 50 meters and floated on the sea for a couple of minutes before sinking.

Sailors on a maritime patrol ship anchored nearby said they saw the helicopter circle around the Snow Dragon several times before it suddenly crashed.

"It seemed to experience difficulty pushing up and there were weird noises from the engine," said a sailor.

Nearby ships threw out life-saving buoys, jackets and rafts to the victims immediately and managed to pull three out of water just five minutes after the crash, said maritime official Zhou Zhengbao.

They were taken to Shanghai No. 7 People's Hospital. One man had sustained cuts to his head and was treated in the intensive-care unit but he was not in a critical condition, doctors said. The other two had no major injuries.

The maritime authority said the crash happened just one minute after take-off.

Last night, more than a dozen boats were cruising the waters in a bid to find the missing man.

The rescue authority said the helicopter had been due to leave the ship earlier in the morning but had to postpone its take-off due to heavy fog. Visibility later improved and it took off at 11:20am.

Fog came in again soon after the crash, which delayed the launch of a rescue helicopter. It was finally able to take off at 3:30pm.

The Zhijiu helicopter had been rented by the polar research ship from the Harbin-based China Flying Dragon General Aviation Company and was heading back to base at the end of its contract.

The Zhijiu-series are currently the most advanced China-produced helicopters. They were used for security patrols during the Beijing Olympics and helped with rescue efforts after the Sichuan earthquake last May. They have been used on previous Snow Dragon missions.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend