5 Americans Killed In Peru Helicopter Crash

Five Americans were killed in Peru Monday afternoon when a helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Pucallpa. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Authorities say air traffic controllers at Pucallpa Airport lost contact with the chopper just minutes after it left the airport carrying 2 Peruvians and 5 Americans. Heavy smoke from where the helicopter crashed into the Amazon jungle could reportedly be seen from the control tower.

The crash site was soon located and three bodies were recovered a distance from the wreckage. Authorities say the location of the bodies and the lack of burns indicates those victims jumped from the helicopter before it crashed. Swamp-like conditions and melted wreckage prevented rescue crews from recovering the other bodies right away, according to Ucayali Region Police Chief Cesar Larrea.

The helicopter was owned the operated by Oregon-based Columbia Helicopters. All 5 Americans that died were employees of the company.

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