south korea, helicopter, seoul, gwangju
TIME South Korea

2 Dead After Helicopter Crash in South Korea

The helicopter was returning to headquarters in the eastern provincial firefighting agency after participating in search operations for 11 people still missing after a ferry sinking that killed more than 290 in April

(SEOUL, South Korea) — A firefighting helicopter crashed Thursday near an apartment complex and school in the southern South Korean city of Gwangju, killing two people, officials said.

The helicopter was returning to headquarters in the eastern provincial firefighting agency after participating in search operations for 11 people still missing after a ferry sinking that killed more than 290 in April, fire officials in Gwangju said speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules.

The two dead people were aboard the helicopter, which was believed to be carrying five people at the time of the crash, the officials said. A female high school student on the ground received a minor injury, they said. Fire officials said they were searching for any more casualties.

An official at the firefighting agency in the eastern Gwangwon province said a total of five fire officials took the helicopter Monday when they left for search operations for the missing people from the ferry disaster. He also spoke on condition of anonymity line with department rules.

TV images showed the burning helicopter and a plume of black smoke rising up above buildings.

The ferry sinking caused widespread worry about South Korea’s lax safety culture. Most of the dead were high school students.

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