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Nine dead in Indonesia chopper crash

Nine people, including two Australians, two South Africans and five Indonesians, were killed when a helicopter flying to a Newcrest mine in Indonesia crashed, the company said on Thursday.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2011 02:30 IST

Nine people, including two Australians, two South Africans and five Indonesians, were killed when a helicopter flying to a Newcrest mine in Indonesia crashed, the company said on Thursday.

Ten people were on board when the chopper was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon.

When it was discovered early on Thursday after an air and sea search only one survivor was found -- an Indonesian who is critically injured.

"Newcrest and Aneka Tambang express their deepest sadness and condolences to family, colleagues and friends of the passengers over this tragic event," said Newcrest chief executive Greg Robinson.

The helicopter, believed to be a Bell 412, was flying to Newcrest's Gosowong mine on the Indonesian island of Halmahera, the miner, Australia's largest gold producer, said in a statement.

Chartered by PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals, a joint venture between Newcrest Mining Limited and PT Aneka Tambang, it crashed near Manado on Sulawesi island.

"There were 10 people on board the helicopter, which was transporting eight employees and contractors to the mine and there were two crew," the company said.

"Local authorities advise that there is one survivor, an Indonesian national, who is critically injured. He has been transported to a nearby hospital.

"The cause of the crash is not yet known."

Senior company executives were on en route to Manado with work at the Gosowong mine suspended, added Newcrest, one of the world's lowest cost gold producers.