3 killed in helicopter crash in central Japan

3 killed in helicopter crash in central Japan

TOKYO, March 5 (PNA/Xinhua) — Three people were confirmed dead after a helicopter with nine people aboard crashed in Nagano prefecture in central Japan on Sunday afternoon.

The helicopter, belonging to the local government, took off around 1:30 p.m. local time from Matsumoto airport for a mountain rescue drill, according to local reports.

It was set to land on the Takabocchi Plateau at 1:53 p.m.

The police found the crashed helicopter near Mt. Hachibuse around 3:10 p.m.

The nine people aboard the helicopter were a pilot, seven fire fighters and an engineer.

Five people were found at the scene of the crash. Three of them had been confirmed dead, while two others remain unconscious, said local police.

Police are still searching for the other four people, and the transport ministry has sent officials to look into the incident. (PNA/Xinhua)

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