Two died in helicopter crash in Røldal

Røldal helicopter crashCrews from the Red Cross and Norwegian Rescue Dogs last night assisted police in the search operation for the missing helicopter. The picture is taken at Røldal ski centre. Photo: Norwegian Rescue Dogs

Two died in helicopter crash in Røldal, Hordaland

A man and a woman in their forties from Rogaland perished when the helicopter they were in, crashed on the Røldal Mountain in Hordaland on Sunday.

The couple were found at 4.20 am. The helicopter was located a little while before that. The helicopter that located it could, however, not go down to check the conditions, Operations Manager, Per Algrøy, tells NTB at 5.30 am today, Monday.

Algerøy states that the relatives are notified. He does not want to comment on the relationship between the couple.

“Both are Norwegian citizens, from Rogaland,” writes Bergensavisen.

“The helicopter, which is of the type Robinson 44, was on its way from Røldal Ski Centre to Karmøy in Rogaland at 3.20 pm on Sunday. At 9.53 pm, the police received a message from family and friends of the two, that the helicopter was missing,” writes VG.

The police will start investigations to discover the cause of the accident. The Operations Manager informs that they have notified the AIBN.

Just after departure

The officer on Duty at the Main Rescue Centre, Southern Norway (HRS), Johan Mannsåker, tells NTB that there are reasons to assume that the helicopter did not crash long after departure.

“There are reasons to believe that the accident occurred around 3 to 4 pm. The helicopter was located 2.5 kilometres north of Røldal Ski Centre. It was scheduled to travel northwards, before heading south, following the E134 towards Karmøy,” Mannsåker informs.

The helicopter was found wrecked in the mountainside of the Røldal Mountain at 3.08 am on Monday. It was located by a Sea King rescue helicopter from HRS.

“The fatalities will be brought down from the mountain as soon as possible,” according to HRS.

Help from the previous owner

HRS started tracking the mobile phones of the couple on board after they were reported missing. At 3.56 pm, a match was recorded at a base station near Seljestad.

The rescue centre stated early on that they would primarily seek between Røldal and Seljestad, and that they had no reason to believe that the helicopter has left that area.

“Emergency beacons weren’t triggered in the helicopter. We, therefore, had to initiate communication searches to track those board. We also received help from the previous owner, who had installed a tracking system in the helicopter. That helped narrow the search area, and enabled us to locate the helicopter quickly,” Mannsåker explains.

He states that there were difficult search conditions in the mountains. The rescue helicopter had, Among other issues, to use searchlights to locate the black helicopter in the rugged terrain. The weather was, however, more favourable. The helicopter was located just as it began to snow.

Volunteers participated

The Red Cross, Røldal and Odda, were involved in the search operation. Norwegian Rescue Dogs, the Hordaland Alpine Rescue Group and the Civil Defense were also participating. Røldal Ski Centre, likewise.

Roger Lynghammer, who heads the ground crews of the Red Cross, informs Bergens Tidende that five snowmobiles from Røldal Red Cross participated in the search, during the night before Monday. This in addition to three patrols from Seljestad.

Jarle Mjånes, of the Norwegian Rescue Dogs, tells the same newspaper that up to 30 persons took part in ground searches.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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