Helicopter combating forest fire crashes in northern Portugal, killing pilot

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-20 23:37:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LISBON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A helicopter that was combating forest fires in Viseu, northern Portugal, crashed on Sunday, killing the pilot, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported.

Portugal's national commander of Civil Protection Authority Rui Esteves said in a statement the the helicopter from the Everjets company crashed on high-voltage lines, set on fire and hit the ground, in Castro Daire, Viseu, some 320 km north of Lisbon, at 12:25 local time.

The pilot, who had been involved in forest firefighting missions since 2013, was killed, he added.

"The pilot was the sole occupant of the helicopter and unfortunately did not survive. He was 51 years old, a Portuguese nationality and experienced as a firefighting pilot," said the Everjets company in a statement.

The company said that it will conduct an investigation into the accident.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said in a statement that he deeply regrets the death of the pilot of the helicopter, a new victim of these terrible fires that have martyred the country.

The president also expressed "the deepest condolences to the bereaved family."