Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Governor of Rio mourns copter crash death friends

AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio de Janeiro State Governor Sergio Cabral was on Saturday grieving the deaths of several people close to him in a helicopter accident that almost claimed his son’s life too.

Brazil’s air force, which is investigating the accident, said the crash 500m offshore happened late on Friday in the northeastern coastal town of Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident during what was meant to be a short flight of just 10 minutes from Porto Seguro to a luxury resort.

The air force said in a statement that the pilot did not make any contact with air traffic controllers to signal any problem.

According to media reports, the helicopter was carrying seven people: a businessman who owned the resort they were flying to and who was piloting the Eurocopter Ecureuil, the girlfriend of Cabral’s son, two women and their two sons aged two and three, and the children’s nanny.

On Saturday, the bodies of four of the occupants were found and identified. A search was ongoing for the other three, who were listed as missing.

The newspaper O Globo said on its Web site that because the helicopter was full, Cabral’s son did not hop on board with the group, but was waiting for it to return to pick him up.

The governor was in Porto Seguro overseeing the search operation.

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