3 dies as helicopter crashes into dam while fighting forest fire in Turkey's İzmir

Three crew members have died after a helicopter crashed while taking water from a dam to fight a forest fire in Turkey’s İzmir. The co-pilot of the helicopter was rescued after they swam to land.

Duvar English

A helicopter on late Sept. 16 crashed into Tahtalı Dam with four people onboard while taking water to fight forest fire in Turkey’s western province of İzmir. One person survived the crash, while the other three crew members died.

Of the four crew members on the crashed helicopter, three were Kyrgyz nationals and one was a Turkish citizen. After the accident, the co-pilot of the helicopter, a Kyrgyz national, was rescued after they swam to land.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister İbrahim Yumaklı on Sept. 17 visited the rescued co-pilot and said “(Their) general condition is very good. They are conscious, and we didn't say much to avoid tiring them out.”

Journalists reminded Minister Yumaklı that another helicopter crashed into the same dam back in 2017, resulting in the death of five people, and asked him whether the dam poses a risk for firefighting helicopters.

In response, Yumaklı said the real reason for the accident will be revealed after all examinations, and that they will be able to say whether there is a connection to the previous accident after that.

On the other hand, the fire in Menderes was taken under control 20 hours after it broke out.