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Director Of Russian Company Among Seven Killed In Helicopter Crash In Turkey


The helicopter crashed after hitting a television tower minutes after leaving Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

The director of the Russian unit of the Turkey-based Eczacibasi group has died in a helicopter crash near Istanbul that killed all seven people aboard, the chairman of Eczacibasi said.

Chairman Bulent Eczacibasi said on March 10 that Salim Ozen, a Russian sales manager, and three clients from Russia were aboard the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter when it crashed in fog on a highway near the Istanbul airport.

Russian state-run news agency TASS said Ozen was the head of the group's Russian unit, Vitra Russia.

Eczacibasi is a pharmaceuticals and household products group with more than 13,000 employees.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas said a total of seven people, including two pilots, were killed in the crash.

Earlier reports had put the death toll at five and said that the two pilots had survived.

The press office of the Turkish company listed the Russian nationals aboard the helicopter as sales manager Aleksandr Vanin, Igor Kochergin, Lyudmila Chuprova, and Yelena Badragan.

Turkey's NTV television said the helicopter crashed after hitting a television tower minutes after leaving Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

"We share their grief," he said on March 10 after talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Based on reporting by ODA-TV, sozcu.tr, Hurriyet, DHA, Yeni Safak, Reuters, TASS, and NTV
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