Helicopter goes missing in southeastern Peru

At least 14 foreigners, including 11 South Korean nationals, on board tourist aircraft that was bound for Cusco.

    A helicopter carrying more than a dozen foreign tourists, including several from South Korea, has gone missing in a jungle area of the Cusco region of southeastern Peru, police say.

    The tourist helicopter, run by Heli Cusco, disappeared in the Hualla Hualla region at an altitude of 4,725 metres, about 140km from the tourist city of Cusco.

    "We have information from the company that the aircraft was carrying 11 South Koreans, two Austrians and a Peruvian," General Hector Dulanto, Cusco police chief, told AFP news agency on Thursday.

    "We hope the helicopter was able to make an emergency landing."

    Police have launched a search for aircraft and its occupants, but have been slowed by bad weather, Dulanto said.

    "Snowfall at dawn has hampered the progress of the patrols," he said, adding that a police helicopter would join the rescue effort once the storm had passed," he said.

    The helicopter left the city of Mazuco, in the southeastern region of Madre de Dios, late on Wednesday headed for Cusco.

    Local media said the South Korean and Austrian passengers were making a visit to the Machu Picchu architectural marvel, one of the world's most famous tourist sites.

    Hundreds of thousands of tourists descend on the Cusco region every year to visit Machu Picchu, a 15th century Incan city perched on a mountain high above the town of Aguas Caliente.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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