Search for survivors of Canadian helicopter crash ends, recovery mission focuses on victims

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Map of Newfoundland, Canada
Image: Coach, nyta, edited by Qyd.

The search for the 16 missing people has been called off about 34 hours after the Sikorsky S92 helicopter crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday. The helicopter is lying on its side at a depth of 178 metres approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the Newfoundland shoreline, about 55 miles (89 km) southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of the original 18 people on board, Robert Decker is in critical condition in hospital and the body of Allison Maher had been recovered. Decker is the only survivor of the crash.

The remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used to search the wreckage, have videotaped ten to thirteen of the missing within the helicopter. At first recovery crews were hoping to haul the main body of the helicopter and its fuselage up intact, but because of the helicopter's condition, the Transportation Safety Board will first retrieve the bodies from within the tangled metal.

Weather permitting, the recovery of the helicopter should be completed by the end of today.


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