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Fatal Norway helicopter crash witnesses saw explosion in the sky

02 May 2017

One year after the helicopter crash near Turøy, Norway, on 29 April 2016, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has published a preliminary report giving the latest evidence on the incident. The Airbus Helicopters EC 225 LP, en route from the Gullfaks B platform in the North Sea to Bergen Airport, came down after the main rotor head detached, killing all 13 people on board.

Stock image
Stock image

AIBN, which is leading the investigation, always issues a preliminary report within 12 months of an incident, but stresses this is incomplete and that investigations are continuing.

Several witnesses to the crash saw an “explosion in the sky” and heard a “loud bang” shortly before the main rotor separated, according to the report. Several people reported seeing “yellowish red flames” coming from the engine on top of the helicopter after the rotor detached and flew off on its own, while a series of parts were ejected.

One person who recorded the crash on video heard a “metallic sound” as the rotor came off. “He described it as an explosion in the sky”, the AIBN report said.

The preliminary report describes the accident sequence, as well as the background and circumstances of the flight. It also includes information about the search for parts, a technical description of the helicopter, and details of the extensive investigation that is still ongoing.

The AIBN has issued no safety recommendations at this stage. The investigation continues and only the final report will represent the complete investigation and be the official document.

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