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Thu 18 Sep 2008 02:02 PM

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Investigators find no reason for copter crash

General Civil Aviation Authority says yet to determine cause of accident which killed 7.

The investigation into the helicopter crash on Rashid oil rig on September 3 is yet to determine the reason for the crash, the General Civil Aviation Authority said Thursday.

Ismaeil Abdel Wahed, chief of investigations at the GCAA, said in a statement that "the cause of the accident can not be identified at this stage".

“The investigation recorded that the aircraft was not equipped with FDR (Flight Data Recorder) nor CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder). However, we will continue the investigation until the most probable cause of the tragic accident has been identified," he said.

The Bell 212 helicopter had landed safely on the helipad of the Rashid oil rig and completed its first mission to drop off cargo, he said.

"When the aircraft was ready to depart the helipad, it lifted off to move forward, but in accordance to a witness statement the aircraft moved back ward and it hit a vertical crane, broke up, fell down on the deck and caught fire," he said.

The fire alarm was activated immediately and the crews on the deck managed to fight the fire. The aircraft was totally destroyed and burnt, the statement said.

The seven victims of the crash were named on September 12. The pilots, who worked for Aerogulf Services, were named as Captain Christopher Brown, from Britain, and Captain Luis Lovera, from Venezuela, the statement said.

Two Noble Drilling personnel died in the incident - Adam Rae Duff, from Britain, and Julius Alex Pereira, from India.

Baker Hughes Incorporated lost employee Jayant Ingale, also from India and two Production Services Network (PSN) personnel were killed - Shuja Ur Rehman, from Pakistan and Disodado Buhangin, from the Philippines.

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