At least four killed in U.N. helicopter crash in Azerbaijan

A U.N. helicopter on a mission to help Pakistan earthquake victims crashed in western Azerbaijan Saturday, killing at least four crew members, officials said.

The helicopter crashed in the Goychay region of Azerbaijan, about 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) west of the Azerbaijani capital Baku, killing all four people on board, said Nazim Ismaylov, the head of the regional administration. No one was hurt on the ground.

Ismaylov, speaking in a telephone interview from the crash site, couldn't immediately comment on the type of the helicopter and its owner but said he saw four charred bodies of the crew.

Sabir Ilyasov, a deputy head of the national carrier Azerbaijani Airlines, said the helicopter was a Russian Ka-32 chartered by the United Nations for a relief mission in earthquake-stricken Pakistan.

Ilyasov said the helicopter stopped to refuel in Azerbaijan's city of Gyanca on a flight from Turkey to Pakistan, and crashed shortly afterward. He said the helicopter had a crew of five, and all crewmen died in the crash.

It was not immediately clear why the number provided by Ilyasov was different from that given by Azerbaijani officials, AP reported. V.A.

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