5 firefighters killed in helicopter crash

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 17, 2014 - 21:03
  • Updated : Jul 17, 2014 - 21:40
A firefighting helicopter crashed Thursday near an apartment complex and school in the southern South Korean city of Gwangju, killing five people, officials said.
The helicopter that crashed on Thursday. (Yonhap)

The helicopter was returning to headquarters in the eastern provincial firefighting agency after participating in search operations for 11 people still missing after a ferry sinking that killed more than 290 in April, fire officials in Gwangju said speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules.

The crash killed all five fire officers aboard the helicopter, while a female high school student on the ground received a minor injury, the officials said.
Rescuers work near the wreckage of a firefighting helicopter Thursday after it crashed into a street near an apartment complex in Gwangju, killing all five passengers and injuring a passerby. The chopper was returning to its headquarters from search operations for 11 people who went missing in the deadly ferry sinking in April. (Yonhap)

An official at the firefighting agency in the eastern Gwangwon province said the five dead officers took the helicopter Monday when they left for search operations for the missing people from the ferry disaster. He also spoke on condition of anonymity line with department rules.

TV images showed the burning helicopter and a plume of black smoke rising up above buildings.

The ferry sinking caused widespread worry about South Korea‘s lax safety culture. Most of the dead were high school students. (AP)