ALL 14 PEOPLE aboard a helicopter that vanished days ago have been found dead after climbers reached the crash site high in the Peruvian Andes.
At mid-morning yesterday a special eight-member police mountain patrol team reached the site where the helicopter, a Sikorsky S-58 ET that went missing on Wednesday, plummeted to earth.
On board the flight were eight South Koreans, a Czech, a Swede, a Dutch citizen and three Peruvians, two of them crew members, according to helicopter owner HeliCusco. All were found dead, police said.
It is not known whether any of the victims survived the initial crash.
The local official in charge of the case, Cesar Guevara of the town of Urcos, told Peruvian media that his team was en route to the accident site to retrieve the bodies.
“It could take at least four hours to get to the accident site, depending on weather conditions” and the physical strength of the officials, Guevara told Canal N television by telephone.
The helicopter crashed near Mount Mamarosa, some 4,900m above sea level, Guevara said. It vanished on Wednesday while flying in snow and rain in the mountainous region from the town of Mazuco to the city of Cusco.
In Seoul, the foreign ministry said the South Koreans were engineers and officials from four South Korean companies on their way back to Cusco after conducting aerial surveillance on a possible site for a hydroelectric project near Puno, in southern Peru.
Two officials from the South Korean embassy in Lima were in Cusco to monitor the search and rescue operations.