Monday, June 23, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) - A helicopter carrying four members of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) crashed in the central part of the country, the mission said.

The EUFOR helicopter went down in a mountainous heavily forested area near the town of Travnik at around noon (1000 GMT), shortly after the crew made a Mayday call, it said in a statement.

The helicopter had taken off on a routine flight around half an hour earlier from Camp Butmir in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

"A second helicopter has confirmed smoke in the vicinity but due to the mountainous and heavily forested terrain nothing more can be confirmed at this point," said the EUFOR statement.

EUFOR’s spokesman Kerry Corkett earlier told AFP that those on board the helicopter included two crew and two passengers, all of them serving with the EUFOR.

Those on board at the time of the crash were identified by Spain’s Defense Ministry as being two Spanish pilots and two German officers, in a statement issued in Madrid.

"A Spanish helicopter suffered an accident today in Bosnia and the state of the two Spanish pilots and two German officers who were on board is unknown at the moment," said the Ministry.

Emergency services were finding it difficult to reach the area where the crash occurred in central Bosnia, its statement added.

The site of the crash, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the central Bosnian town,was still being investigated, said EUFOR’s Corkett, who declined to provide further information about any possible deaths or injuries.

EUFOR, which took over from a NATO peacekeeping mission in 2004, is charged with military tasks set out in the peace deal that ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. It currently has around 2,200 troops in the country.

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