‘Black day’: Romania crash survivors unlikely

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010
Lt Nir Lakrif, 25: one of those feared dead

Lt Nir Lakrif, 25: one of those feared dead

Israeli officials have said they do not think they will find any survivors in the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in Romania on Monday night.

The six Israelis and one Romanian are still considered missing and a specialist team from Israel has arrived to help with the search and rescue effort.

But Brigadier General Relik Shafir said: "We have reason to believe that all seven crew are dead.

"It's been a black day for all of us."

Another Israeli air force spokesman, Brigadier General Avi Benayahu said: "It would have been very difficult to have come out of this incident alive.

He said the helicopter hit the mountaintop, rolled downwards and then burst into flames.

The CH-53 helicopter was on an aviation training exercise training when it ran into poor weather conditions, although this has not been confirmed as the cause of the crash.

A list of the missing crew members has been released. They range in age from 24 to 48.

The Romanian and Israeli air forces have launched a combined investigation into the disaster.

Last updated: 2:27pm, August 11 2010