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UN Helicopter Carrying 24 Crashes In Sierra Leone


No Apparent Survivors After UN Helicopter Carrying 24 Crashes In Sierra Leone

A United Nations mission helicopter carrying two dozen people from Hastings to Yengema in Sierra Leone crashed into a hillside today, with no apparent survivors.

Reacting to the tragedy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent condolences to the families of the victims and paid tribute to all who have lost their lives in this and other peacekeeping missions, UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in New York.

The Russian MI-8 aircraft carried 21 passengers of the UN Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone UNAMSIL) as well as non-UN workers. Three Russian pilots were also on board, Ms. Okabe said.

The UN has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

A UNAMSIL rescue helicopter was dispatched to the area, but because of the terrain was force to land three kilometres away from the crash site.

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