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Two crew members dead after UN helicopter crashes in Liberia

Two crew members dead after UN helicopter crashes in Liberia

A United Nations helicopter crashed in Liberia today, killing two of the three crew members onboard, the world body’s mission there confirmed, reporting that the third is missing and presumed dead.

The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) announced that a cargo helicopter flight from Ganta, Nimba County to Loguatuo, on the border between Liberian and Côte d’Ivoire, crashed at around 10.30 a.m. this morning.

“The cause of the crash is not yet known,” the Mission said in a statement released following the incident.

A search-and-rescue mission organized by UNMIL that reached the site confirmed that two of the three crew members onboard were killed, while the other is missing. The crew members’ names and nationalities are being withheld pending family notification.

The Mission’s Aviation Safety personnel and the Liberian Civil Aviation authority are investigating the crash of the aircraft – an MI-8 operated by UT Air, which was under contract to UNMIL.

The Mission has grounded all its civilian MI-8 helicopters until further notice.

Established in 2003 to support Liberia’s ceasefire and peace process, UNMIL currently has over 15,000 peacekeepers, and around 500 international civilian personnel, almost 1,000 local staff and 220 UN Volunteers.