Spain searches for helicopter crew after crash

2015-10-24 19:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Madrid - Spain's defence ministry was searching on Saturday for three crew members of a military helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic off the Canary Islands after initially reporting that they had been rescued by a Moroccan patrol boat.

"The people are missing, we do not know in what circumstances they disappeared. We have not been able to reach the cabin" of the helicopter, Defence Minister Pedro Morenes said late on Friday after meeting family members of the disappeared on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.

"We can't lose hope but we are working on all possibilities," he added at a press conference at the Gando air base.

The governments of Spain and Morocco "were deploying all means" needed to help in the search, the defence ministry said in a Twitter message.

The helicopter went down Thursday, about 519km from Gando, its destination on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, the defence ministry said in a statement at the time.

It had set off from Mauritania after refuelling there following two weeks of military exercises in Senegal.

The defence ministry said on Twitter later on Thursday that a Moroccan rescue helicopter sent to the scene spotted the aircraft floating and saw flares fired from a life raft before the patrol boat picked the crew up and took them to Dakhla, a town in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara.

The minister said the defence ministry had originally been told by Moroccan authorities that the three crew members had been found but that the information turned out to be wrong.

"Yesterday we were officially informed that they were rescued by a fishing boat that would arrive at around 04:00 at Dakhla but the boat did not appear," Francisco Ojeda, father of one of the missing crew members, told Spanish public radio.

"After we were told they might be on a kayack that was adrift," he added.

The defence ministry did not say what may have caused the helicopter to go down.

Read more on:    spain  |  morocco

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.