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Crashed Helicopter Not Sabah Air Aircraft, Says CEO

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KOTA KINABALU – Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd said the helicopter that crashed in Sarawak yesterday did not belong to it, as reported by some media.

CEO Terry Chan Kong Ngee said all the five helicopters of the company as well as crew and support staff serving in Sarawak now in view of the state election were doing fine.

He said the Sabah Air helicopter linked to the mishap was a Bell 206 L3 piloted by Capt Roslan Mustapha that was now operating in the Serian area and that the ill-fated aircraft was a Eurocopter AS350.

Chan said the photograph of Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon with a Sabah Air helicopter in the background was taken in Kuching yesterday before she and her team flew from Kuching to Betong.

On the return trip, he said, Noriah and her team had taken the ill-fated helicopter.

Chan said the confusion over the helicopter that went down had bothered the company and he hoped that the explanation would alleviate the misunderstanding.

Noriah and her husband Asmuni Abdullah were among the six people on board the helicopter that is believed to have crashed on a flight from Betong to Kuching yesterday.

The others are the ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Sundaran Annamalai, Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Muhammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, Noriah’s bodyguard Ahmad Sobri Harun and Filipino pilot Rudolf Rex Ragas.

Parts of the helicopter and a woman’s body were found today in Sebuyau by the search and rescue team. – BERNAMA

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