ANKARA, March 10. /TASS/. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eczacibasi Group Bulent Eczacibasi confirmed on Friday that Salim Ozen, the CEO of the group’s Russian branch, Vitra Russia, was killed in a helicopter crash near Istanbul.
Eczacibasi confirmed this information in a live broadcast of NTV television channel.
"The head of our company in Russia, and also four our clients from Russia - the guests who had arrived at our place - were aboard the helicopter. As far as I know, the helicopter was carrying passengers from Ataturk airport to our enterprise in Bozuyuk [Bilecik province]," he said, without specifying the causes of the air crash.
Head of the municipality in the Istanbul district of Buyukcekmece Hasan Akgun earlier told journalists that "so far the death of five people aboard the helicopter is confirmed."
"The cause of the air crash has not yet been established. Specialists are studying this issue," he said.
"According to some data, two pilots - Turkish citizens - survived and were taken to hospital with injuries," he said.
A private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter with board No. TC-HEZ crashed on Friday morning near a parking lot of the Tuyap exhibition center. It was taken on lease from a local transport company.
According to preliminary unofficial data, the helicopter was flying through a dense fog and hit a TV tower. The helicopter’s fuselage broke up into several parts.
A statement obtained by TASS from the local transport operator that had leased out the helicopter confirmed that the rotocraft "was managed by the company."
"The helicopter took off at 11:20 to perform a flight from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Bozuyuk. Shortly after its takeoff, our helicopter crashed in Beylikduzu [the Istanbul district of Buyukcekmece]. There were two crewmembers and five passengers aboard," the statement said.
The company said that "the study of the air crash causes continues."