Five killed in helicopter crash in Istanbul

At least five people died Friday when a helicopter crashed in the fog on the outskirts of Istanbul.

A vehicle sits crushed by debris from a helicopter accident in Istanbul in which at least five people died. Initial reports indicate the helicopter, with seven people aboard, struck the Endem television tower visible in the photo. Photo by Deniz Toprak/EPA
A vehicle sits crushed by debris from a helicopter accident in Istanbul in which at least five people died. Initial reports indicate the helicopter, with seven people aboard, struck the Endem television tower visible in the photo. Photo by Deniz Toprak/EPA

Initial reports from eyewitnesses said the Sikorsky helicopter, owned by a Turkish conglomerate, struck a 774-foot tall structure formerly used as a television tower with a restaurant at its top. A nearby highway was closed after it was littered with debris from the crash.

Hasan Akgun, the mayor of the Istanbul suburb of Buyukeekmece, said he saw five bodies recovered from the crash. He said seven people were aboard the helicopter, owned by the Eczacibasi business conglomerate.

Buklent Eczacibasi, chairman of the company, said three people aboard the aircraft were Russian clients who were in Istanbul to attend a ceramics products exhibition and were being flown to a factory owned by his company. Two pilots were on board, as well as two company executives, one Turkish and the other Russian, Eczacibasi said. It is unclear which passengers may have survived the crash.

By Ed Adamczyk