Briton killed as helicopter crashes in Netanya

By Jessica Elgot, November 24, 2009
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Sironit beach, Netanya, where the crash took place

Sironit beach, Netanya, where the crash took place

Four people have died after a helicopter crashed off the coast of Netanya, Israel.

Israeli ambulance service Magen David Adom has confirmed that four bodies have been recovered from the helicopter, and that at least one, a 43 year-old man, was British.

The private helicopter took off from Tel Aviv's Sde Dov airfield. Two of the dead have been identified as Israeli citizens. A British passport has also been recovered from the sea.

Haaretz has identified the pilot as Ran Lapid, and suggested he was an employee of El Al.

Local sources have also named one of the Israeli passengers as Yoav Tamir, the co-owner of Tamir Airways.

It crashed into the sea, 300m from Sironit beach. The emergency services were alerted by two jet skiiers who found two of the bodies.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said divers had recovered four bodies after the crash. He said flying conditions had been "relatively decent" at the time of the crash and that they were investigating the possibility of a machinery malfunction.

Mr Rosenfeld said of the British victim: "It said he was British on his passport, but we are still looking to see if he lived in Britain or was living overseas."

Last updated: 3:36pm, November 26 2009