June 2, 2016 / 2:18 PM / 2 years ago

Romanian rescue helicopter crashes in Moldova, four killed

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A Romanian SMURD emergency service helicopter crashed on Thursday after carrying missions in neighboring Moldova, killing all four crew, the interior ministry said.

It said an (Eurocopter) EC135, which lifted off in the morning from the northern Romanian city of Iasi in the morning, crashed near a forest in the Cantemir district.

Ministry spokeswoman Monica Dajbog said the accident occurred at midday, close to the border with Romania after a couple of short flights across the country to rescue an 85 year-old woman with pulmonary disease.

She said the helicopter was manufactured in August 2014, had its technical inspection on schedule in February 2016 and that the pilot had more than 4,000-hour flight time. Romanian television channel Digi24 quoted local officials saying unfavorable weather conditions with gusty winds, rain and overcast skies were reported at the scene. An investigation by Romanian and Moldovan authorities is underway.

Reporting by Radu Marinas Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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