Chopper crash bodies removed

2010-07-23 17:04

Johannesburg - The bodies of the police officers killed in a helicopter crash near Witbank in Mpumalanga were removed from the wreckage on Friday afternoon.

Pieces of the chopper, including the engine, were scattered across a field, near a squatter camp, about seven kilometres outside the town. The entire area had been cordoned off by police tape.

A team of more than 20 forensic pathologists and police officers was on the scene to determine what caused the helicopter to crash.

It was carrying five policemen, a pilot and a crew member, when it plunged to the ground before bursting into flames around 09:00 on Friday.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, accompanied by national police commissioner General Bheki Cele, visited the scene earlier in the day.

The helicopter, one of two carrying national intervention unit members, was en route to a shooting in Witbank, according to national police spokesperson Sally de Beer.