Peruvians find all 14 bodies in Andes copter crash

AP News
Posted: Jun 10, 2012 9:27 PM
Peruvians find all 14 bodies in Andes copter crash

A police rescue team on Sunday recovered the bodies of all 14 people who died in a fiery helicopter crash high in the snowy Andes, and Quechua Indians from nearby villages helped carry the remains down the steep slopes.

Police Gen. Hector Dulanto said the bodies were first taken to Ocongate, the nearest town to the accident, but were being moved by police vans to the morgue in Cuzco, the regional capital.

Officials said DNA tests or dental identification would be needed to identify at least five or six of the victims. The helicopter exploded when it hit the mountainside and all the bodies were burned, some severely, police said.

As the search team found bodies during the day, the remains were put into black bags. Local villagers then hoisted the bags onto their backs and carried them down the mountain.

The Sikorsky S-58ET helicopter was carrying eight South Koreans and three Peruvians as well as citizens of the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic when it crashed Wednesday on Mama Rosa mountain at an altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,900 meters).

The Koreans were exploring sites for a possible hydroelectric plant. They were employed by Samsung C&T Corp., Korea Water Resources Corp., Korea Engineering Consultants Corp. and Seoyeong Co.

Eighteen South Korean relatives of those aboard the helicopter were flying to Peru to recover the remains, said South Korean Consul Hwangroh Lee, who went to Cuzco, the city where the helicopter flight originated.