All 13 passengers on board a helicopter that crashed on Norway’s western coast on Friday are presumed dead, the police have said.
Terje Magnussen, Police Duty Officer of the Bergen Vest police district, confirmed that 11 bodies had been retrieved so far.
The Joint Rescue Coordination for southern Norway said that it had given up its search for the remaining two bodies.
Earlier, Anders Andersen, spokesman for the Coordination team, said that the search was still underway for the two missing people.
The spokesman had said that 11 on board the helicopter were Norwegian nationals, one British and one Italian, but that their individual identities were unclear.
The joint rescue coordination centre had coordinated a large search and rescue operation, partly at sea and on land.
“The rotor blade has been found, while parts of the helicopter have been located six, seven metres under the water line,” Andersen said.
Local broadcaster, NRK, earlier showed images of smoke billowing from the crash site near Turoy, about 40 kilometres from the city of Bergen. The fire was later extinguished.
The helicopter was heading for Bergen from the Gullfaks B oil platform, which is operated by Norwegian energy company, Statoil.
A Statoil spokesman said that the company had mobilized its emergency response team, and had set up an emergency hotline.
Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, said on Twitter that she was being briefed about the accident.
A witness, Jon Sekkingstad, told NRK that he heard a loud bang, and saw the main rotor blade fly off from the helicopter, and an explosion when it hit the ground.
Helicopters and boats have been deployed to the scene. Part of the wreckage was located on a small island, and also in the sea.
The Norwegian defence forces deployed three vessels and four divers.
The airspace around the crash site has also been closed for non-authorized aircraft, including drones, local police said. (dpa/NAN)