The Latest: Black boxes found in Norwegian helicopter crash

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Posted: Apr 29, 2016 1:57 PM
The Latest: Black boxes found in Norwegian helicopter crash

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a helicopter on an island off western Norway (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority says the crashed helicopter's flight recorders, the so-called black boxes, have been recovered.

Spokeswoman Hege Aalstad told the Dagbladet newspaper on Friday that the boxes had been found but didn't give any further details. Calls to the agency remained unanswered Friday evening.

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder could help explain what caused the Airbus EC-225 helicopter to crash on a tiny Norwegian island, killing all 13 people aboard, as it flew from a North Sea oil field to Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away.

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6:30 p.m.

King Harald of Norway and his wife Queen Sonja are cancelling a trip to neighboring Sweden to attend the Swedish king's 70th birthday on Saturday because of the crash that authorities say killed all 13 people aboard an oil-rig helicopter.

In a brief statement, the palace said Friday the king would not travel to Stockholm to attend the birthday celebrations for King Carl XVI Gustaf. Instead, the Norwegian royal house will be represented by the king's daughter, Princess Martha Louise, and her husband Ari Behn.

The helicopter was traveling from a North Sea oil field to Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away on the Norwegian mainland, when it crashed into a tiny island.

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5:45 p.m.

Norwegian rescue officials say the rescue operation after the helicopter crash near Bergen is over and all 13 people who were on board are presumed dead.

Boerge Galta of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center says "we do not believe anyone can be found alive." The operation was called off Friday at 5 p.m. after 11 bodies were found.

The cause of the crash Friday was not immediately known.

At the same time, the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority says it is immediately was banning helicopters of the same type as the one that crashed — Airbus Helicopters EC225LP — from flying in the Scandinavian country or near Norwegian offshore facilities.

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5:35 p.m.

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority says it is immediately banning helicopters of the same type as the one that crashed Friday off its western shore from flying in the Scandinavian country or near Norwegian offshore facilities.

The government agency said its decision, affecting all Airbus Helicopters EC225LP — registered in Norway or not — is "due to the fatal accident." The ban was effective immediately and "would remain in force until revoked."

The helicopter was traveling from a North Sea oil field to Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away on the Norwegian mainland, when it crashed into a tiny island. The crash killed 11 people on the helicopter and left two others missing.

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3:50 p.m.

Authorities in Britain are deploying air accident investigators to Norway to help assist in the inquiry into a helicopter crash off the coast of Norway.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is taking part because the U.K. has investigated several crashes involving helicopters operating to and from offshore oil fields in recent years. The team will travel to Norway on Saturday.

The helicopter was traveling from a North Sea oil field to Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away on the Norwegian mainland.

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3:40 p.m.

Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil ASA says it is sending support staff to the city of Bergen to help families of the victims of a helicopter crash off the coast of Norway that killed at least 11 people.

Statoil said a minister, psychologists and other experienced staff will be available at a Bergen hotel.

The company said the chartered helicopter was "on assignment for Statoil."

Norwegian broadcaster NRK said 11 of the 13 people on board were employed by Statoil. The company didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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3:15 p.m.

A rescue official says 11 bodies have been found after the crash of a helicopter on an island off the coast of western Norway. Two people are still missing.

Jon Sjursoe, a spokesman for Norway's Joint Rescue Coordination Center, said there were 11 Norwegian nationals, one Briton and one Italian on the Eurocopter EC-225 helicopter that crashed Friday, but he didn't know which were among the confirmed victims.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK said 11 of the 13 people on board were employed by Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil ASA. The company didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

The helicopter was on its way from the Gullfaks B oil field in the North Sea to Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away on the Norwegian mainland.

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12:40 p.m.

A helicopter carrying 13 people from an offshore oil field has crashed near the western Norwegian city of Bergen, sparking a rescue operation, police and rescue officials said. Many onboard are feared dead.

The crash hit the island of Turoey, near Bergen, on Friday. Police spokesman Morten Kronen said the helicopter "is totally smashed." He told The Associated Press there were "reports of an explosion and thick smoke" and that some people were reported to be in the sea.

He later said so far police could not confirm any survivors.

"It is a very small island and (helicopter) parts are spread partly on land, partly in the sea," said Jon Sjursoe, a spokesman for Norway's Joint Rescue Coordination Center.

Sjursoe said the Eurocopter EC-225 helicopter was carrying 11 passengers and two pilots and belonged to CHC Helicopter, which could not be immediately reached for comment.