ISTANBUL: A Turkish police helicopter crashed on Tuesday in a mountainous region in the east of the country, killing 12 people on board including police officers and a judge, the interior minister said.
Speaking to journalists in a televised statement, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the crash was an “accident that appears to have been caused by weather conditions”.
“Any other outside factor is out of the question,” he said, ruling out that the helicopter had come under attack.
The Sikorsky helicopter, whose passengers included seven policemen, one judge and one non-commissioned officer, crashed at around 0840 GMT in the eastern province of Tunceli, the governor´s office said earlier in a statement.
The other three people on board were crew members.
No signals were received from the Sikorsky helicopter approximately 10 minutes after it took off.
It is believed to have crashed because of unfavourable weather conditions, the statement from the Tunceli governor´s office also said.
In March, seven people were killed, including four Russians, when a privately owned helicopter crashed in Istanbul after hitting a television tower.