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Cablegate: Potential Helicopter Mishap Involving Amcit

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LAGOS 001527

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO DS/IP/AF, DS/IP/OSAC, DS/IP/ITA
LONDON AND PARIS PASS TO AFRICA WATCHERS
KABUL PASS TO SROSS
DIA/J2 PASS TO GHAYES

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC EPET PGOV NI
SUBJECT: POTENTIAL HELICOPTER MISHAP INVOLVING AMCIT

1. (SBU) Summary: According to preliminary but credible
reports, a Pan African Airlines helicopter with an
American citizen and three other people on board lost
radio contact at 2:30 a.m. local time after leaving a
deepwater oil rig. Air and surface searches are being
conducted but thus far there has been no contact with
or sighting of the helicopter. Prior to losing contact
the helicopter apparently reported mechanical
difficulties. According to our best information, the
Amcit on board was one of the helicopter pilots. Pan
African's parent company, Air Logistics, has gone to
the Amcit's home and has remained with the family
during the crisis. There is no indication of any foul
play. Post is tracking the incident and working to
confirm details. End summary.

2. (SBU) Chevron has reported to post that a Pan
African Airlines medevac helicopter with two pilots
picked up an injured Nigerian employee of Transocean,
Inc. and another passenger from the Setco deepwater rig
early this morning. (Transocean is drilling a deepwater
well for Chevron at the Setco rig.) Chevron reported
that the helicopter was headed to Port Harcourt but
signaled it was returning to the rig apparently due to
mechanical problems. The last radio message from the
helicopter was received at 2:30 a.m. local time.

3. (SBU) Pan African has reported that one of the two
pilots was an American. Pan African's parent company,
Air Logistics, has gone to the Amcit's home and has
remained with the family during the crisis.

4. (SBU) We have been informed that air and surface
searches are being conducted. The Nigerian government
is not actively involved in the searches, but Chevron
reports that the upstream subsidiary of NNPC has been
notified of the incident. Chevron reports that there is
no indication of criminal activity.

BROWNE

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