On Monday, 5 Americans died in Peru after a U.S. helicopter crashed in an Amazon jungle, NBC reported.The helicopter that crashed shortly after taking off was owned by Columbia Helicopters of Portland, Oregon. "It was on its way to a drilling location in Peru," said Todd Peterson, the company's vice president of marketing.
The company's president, Michael Finley, later told media sources:
"This is a very sad day for Columbia Helicopters. We may operate globally, but we are still very much a family."
The names of the 5 Americans that died along with the other passengers on board are as follows:
Dann Immel, of Gig Harbor, Wash., co-pilot Igor Castillo, of Peru, maintenance crew chief Edwin Cordova, of Melbourne, Fla., mechanic Luis Ramos, of Peru, mechanic Jaime Pickett, of Clarksville, Tenn.; senior load manager Darrel Birkes, who lived in Peru but was originally from the Portland, Ore. area; and load manager Leon Bradford, of Utah.
Eyewitnesses of the crash told Peru's La Republica newspaper that the helicopter was trying to get rid of cargo while it was losing power. The witnesses then said they saw people jumping from the doomed aircraft. The crashed killed 7 people total, along with 5 Americans. Authorities will be conducting an official investigation to find out more about this tragic crash.