One dead in US Gulf helicopter crash

Helicopter crash: Claimed one life in US Gulf

A contract pilot was killed and two passengers injured Wednesday morning after a helicopter crashed following a crew change on a rig off Louisiana, authorities said.

The aircraft owned by Panther Helicopters in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, was picking up three Wood Group PSN crew members from the Main Pass Block 107 platform, a spokeswoman for Wood Group told Upstream..

The helicopter had taken off from the Energy XXI-operated platform, about 30 miles north-east of Venice, Louisiana, before it wrecked into the sea, Wood Group said.

An offshore supply vessel picked up the four victims and alerted the US Coast Guard at 7:24 am local time. They were later flown to the Louisiana State University Trauma Centre in New Orleans by the Coast Guard and Acadian Air, the Coast Guard said.

Two crew members remain in hospital with injuries described as not life threatening, while the third worker was reported uninjured but is being evaluated.

"We are providing the men and their families with all the support possible," Wood Group told Upstream.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them, their families and the family of the pilot during this very difficult time."

In May 2012, a pilot for helicopter contractor PHI was killed when a Bell 206 aircraft ditched in the US Gulf.

Another incident claimed eight lives in 2009 when in a helicopter crash in the Louisiana delta near Morgan City.

US workplace safety statistics have shown offshore personnel face risks seven times higher than the average US worker largely due to the need to travel by helicopter.

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