One of the two survivors of Wednesday’s fire-fighting helicopter crash off the eastern Aegean island of Samos has said that a “gust of wind” destabilized the Soviet-era Mi-8 aircraft.
An investigation has been launched into the accident, which caused the death of the 55-year-old Romanian co-pilot and the 49-year-old Greek liaison. Two Moldovan nationals survived, a 55-year-old mechanic who was rescued, and the pilot, 50, who swam to shore.
The bodies of the two deceased were taken to hospital and are expected to undergo a post-mortem examination. The two rescued men are in good health, but were hospitalized for additional testing and monitoring.
The helicopter belongs to the Moldovan company Valan International Cargo Charter and was leased by the Greek Fire Service through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency for the current fire season.