At least seven killed in Egypt helicopter crash

At least seven people have died after a helicopter belonging to an international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt.

Five Americans died in the crash, an Israeli official said. The other victims were a French national and a Czech national and all were members of the military.

One survivor was flown to the resort of Eilat, Israel, from where he was then taken by an Israeli helicopter to a hospital further north, sources said.

The official said Israel initially dispatched a helicopter to rescue the wounded, but called off the mission after the deaths were confirmed.

The aircraft, a UH-60 Black Hawk, was on a reconnaissance mission and crashed near the island of Tiran, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, apparently because of a technical failure, the Egyptian official said.

Both Israeli and Egyptian officials said it appeared to have been an accident and there were no signs of the aircraft being attacked.

Islamic militant groups affiliated with the Islamic State group are known to be active in Sinai.

The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) office in Israel confirmed there had been an accident and an investigation was underway but did not provide further details.

MFO is a multinational organisation that monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.

Its responsibilities include monitoring troop levels along the border and ensuring the freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran.

Thirteen countries contribute troops to the mission, with the United States making up the largest contingent.

According to its website, the MFO has 1,154 military personnel from the United States and 12 other countries covering an area of more than 3,860 square miles (10,000 square km) in the Sinai.

Some 452 of the personnel are American.

Courtesy of Sky News

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