A Norwegian helicopter, an Airbus Group Eurocopter 225LP, operated by Statoil, carrying 13 people crashed in the North Sea, on an island off western Norway, on Friday, while it was traveling from the Gullfaks B platform. All passengers died, according to what rescue officials said.
The helicopter crashed around noon near Turoey, outside Bergen, 120 kilometers (74 miles) away from Norway’s mainland.
A spokesman for the rescue center, John Sjursoe, said that the rotor blade of the helicopter was separated from the main body of the aircraft. The rotor was found on land, on a rocky outcrop 200 to 300 meters, or yards, away from the rest of the helicopter. The main body was found underwater at a depth of 6 meters to 7 meters.
The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority banned all helicopters, like the one that crashed, from flying in or outside Norway’s facilities.
The Norwegian leading energy company in oil and gas production, Statoil, which is 67 percent owned by the government, stopped its productions at the Gullfaks B platform, since the company needed to take care of the personnel.
The 13 people on the plane were mostly from Norway, except for one British and one Italian, according to the Rescue Coordination Centre for Southern Norway. The passengers were all from several different companies, and Arne Sigve Nylund, Statoil’s executive vice president for development and production in Norway, confirmed that three of its employees and a contractor were among the helicopter passengers.
Statoil is the biggest oil and gas company in Norway and operates more than 70 percent of the country’s output, owning 51 percent of Gullfaks, 30 percent of fully state-owned Petoro, and 19 percent of Austria’s OMV.
Black boxes were recovered from the crashed helicopter’s flight, according to the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.