Eleven people aboard a helicopter which was heading to the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos survived when it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean early yesterday.
The copter owned by Bristow Helicopters had nine passengers believed to be oil workers and two crew members onboard.
Spokesman of the Accident Investigations Bureau (AIB), Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, said investigation into the crash had already commenced.
“A S76 C++ helicopter marked 5N-BQJ belonging to Bristow Helicopters, which departed the ERHA Platform en route Lagos ditched into the Atlantic Ocean 95 nautical miles to destination at about 10:20am local time. All the 11 on board including two crew members were rescued alive”, he said.
It was gathered that those on board made it through with the aid of life jackets as they were said to be floating.
They were all rescued alive and rushed to an undisclosed hospital, according to spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for the South-west, Ibrahim Farinloye.
A source told our correspondent that rescue operations were mostly carried out by the Nigerian Navy.
The crash came six months after the same type of helicopter crashed at Oworonsoki end of the Lagos lagoon, killing six of the 12 people onboard while six others survived on August 12, 2015.
Bristow confirmed the crash in a statement, saying, “The aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C++, had departed on a routine crew transfer flight offshore with nine passengers and a crew of two. All persons onboard are accounted for and in the process of being transferred to a nearby installation.
“The company is in the process of collecting pertinent information and will release more details as soon as it is available”.
In a related development, the Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Mr. Olatunji Disu, said one of the three helicopters recently donated to the squad by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode aided in locating the crashed helicopter.
He said immediately after the command was alerted, the three helicopters were deployed to search for its possible location.