Victims of fatal helicopter crash being readied for return home
LIMA (Yonhap) -- The bodies of eight Koreans who were killed in a helicopter accident in southern Peru last week are being prepared for transport home, a diplomatic source in Lima said Friday.
A diplomat at Seoul's embassy in the Peruvian capital said the bodies are in the process of being embalmed and will be placed in special aluminum caskets so they can be returned home. The bodies were exempted from undergoing autopsies and should be ready for transport in one or two days, he said.
The eight Korean nationals were killed when their S-58T chopper crashed on Mount Mamarosa at about 4,950 meters above sea level. They were returning from a trip from a potential site for a hydropower plant near Mazuco on the Inambari River in southeastern Peru. The victims' bodies were recovered Sunday after the wreckage of the aircraft was discovered a day before.
"All related documents are being filed with authorities so the transport can take place without a hitch," he said.
The victims' bodies were transferred by air from Cusco to Lima on Thursday, with a chartered flight provided by Korean Air to leave the Peruvian capital for Korea early Sunday.
The plane carrying the bodies, relatives of victims and representatives of companies the deceased worked for is expected to arrive at Incheon International Airport west of Seoul late Monday.
The Koreans were employees of Samsung C&T, the engineering and construction arm of Samsung Group, the Korea Water Resources Corp., the Korea Engineering Consultants Corp., and Seoyeong Engineering.
Besides the Koreans, there were three Peruvians, one Dutchman, one Swede and one Czech on the ill-fated chopper who were also killed in the crash.
Local authorities have yet to determine the exact cause of the crash, although officials believe it was due to bad weather. According to Peruvian authorities, it could take up to a year before the investigation into the crash is completed.