Six including far-right Turkish party leader killed in helicopter crash

27 Mart 2009 - 12:07Son Güncelleme : 27 Mart 2009 - 19:14

Six bodies, including the leader of a Turkish party, have been found as search teams locate the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a mountainous region two days ago, TV channels reported on Friday. (UPDATED)

All six aboard, including the leader of the far-right Great Unity Party (BBP), Muhsin Yazicioglu, were killed in the accident, village guards at the scene told TV channels.         

 

The helicopter has been smashed into pieces and is spread over an area of about 50-60 meters, and the bodies inside the wreckage are frozen and barely recognizable, village guard Abidin Karatas told broadcaster CNNTurk from the crash site.   

 

Another village guard, Remzi Gok, told broadcaster HaberTurk that the crash was probably caused by heavy fog. "The front of the helicopter is completely smashed, but the back section looks undamaged," he said.

 

Hasan Caglayan, a member of Yazicioglu’s party, they would not declare him dead until a party official was able to identify him. Turkish military dispatched units to the site to retrieve the bodies.

 

Turkish military dispatched units to the site to retrieve the bodies.

 

The wreckage of the helicopter was located on a snow covered mountain top between the towns of Sisne and Elmali in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras.

 

Several helicopters and thousands of rescue workers, including village guards, soldiers, party members and local villagers, were involved in the search that had been hampered by heavy snow storms and fog.

 

Ismail Gunes, a cameraman for Turkish Ihlas News Agency (IHA), was among the dead. The journalist's anguished emergency call was broadcast nationwide Thursday. Gunes said he was wedged in the wreckage with a badly broken foot and was freezing. He said some of the other passengers appeared to be dead, and that his cell phone battery was running out.

 

The helicopter, carrying the six, crashed Wednesday in the province of Kahramanmaras, as it was returning from a rally ahead of Sunday's local elections.

 

Yazicioglu, the leader of the small opposition BBP, was born in 1954 in the eastern Turkish province of Sivas, which he represents in parliament. He was married with two children.

 

 

 

 

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