Paper: Body of one of the Pilots in Iran Helicopter Crash Found in Wreckage
The body of one of the Iranian pilots on a helicopter that went down in the Gulf earlier this month has been found in the wreckage of the aircraft, the Iran daily reported Saturday.
It cited an oil ministry official in charge of Iran's Helicopter Services Organization, Jamshid Qanbari, as saying that he could "not yet say with certainty whose body it was."
Three passengers were rescued from the August 15th crash but pilot Abolhassan Maleki and co-pilot Sattar Nobarzadeh were reported missing, with many conflicting reports on their fate.
The second pilot is still missing.
Press reports on Thursday quoted an unnamed naval official as saying the wreck had been located 85 meters (280 feet) underwater and 200 meters (220 yards) from the Saga 2 platform in the Gulf's giant South Pars gas field.
The naval official said footage from the cameras of a search vessel showed "unidentified" objects in the cockpit and added that Omani divers would investigate to "dispel all doubts" about what had happened to the pilots.
The Kayhan newspaper on Thursday cited an "informed source" close to the investigation saying that there was a "strong" possibility that what was seen in the cockpit was the body of one of the pilots.
The United States had denied Iranian reports that a US navy ship rescued the two pilots alive in the Gulf shortly after the late-night crash.
But the Iranian foreign ministry said Monday that the United States had provided "insufficient" information about the two men and that it was pursuing the matter through Swiss intermediaries - TEHRAN (AFP)
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