Team of IAF pilots, servicemen secures Romania crash site

Medical and rabbinical teams to arrive on Hercules plane from Tel-Nof base in afternoon to identify bodies; IAF Brig. Gen. Nimrod Shefer to lead research team examining the cause of the crash.

By YAAKOV KATZ JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
July 27, 2010 09:19
1 minute read.
A CH-53 YASOUR heavy helicopter like the one shown here crashed in Romania.

IAF helicopter 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

ROMANIA - An Israeli team of pilots and IAF servicemen on Tuesday morning succeeded in reaching the crash site of the Yasour helicopter which went down during a training exercise in Romania on Monday.

The IAF team descended from a helicopter near the remote crash site and then trekked the rest of the way on foot. They secured the area and were awaiting the arrival of the search-and-rescue team from Tel-Nof air force base, set to reach Romania later on Tuesday.

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Access to the crash site had been seriously limited by the rugged terrain, which had prevented vehicles from reaching the site and impeded Romanian and Israeli search efforts.

Romanian Defense Ministry spokesman Constantin Spanu said on Monday night that Romanian officials were scrambling to reach the accident site near the town of Zarnesti, some 120 kilometers northwest of Bucharest.

Spanu said the helicopter had been flying at low altitude when radio contact with it was lost mid-afternoon Monday.

Romanian Defense Minister Gabriel Oprea immediately established a committee to probe the cause of the accident.

An IAF Hercules aircraft was set to arrive in Romania on Tuesday afternoon with medical teams, as well as officers from the IDF Rabbinate to assist in identifying the bodies.

IAF Brig.-Gen Nimrod Shefer, deputy commander of the air force, is heading the Israeli research team, the army said.



Shefer said that all possibilities were being looked into, including a technical malfunction or a human error that may have caused the crash.


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