Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:41PM
A file photo of a Mil Mi-17 helicopter
A file photo of a Mil Mi-17 helicopter

A chopper belonging to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has crashed in the northern Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea, leaving all five people on board dead, an IRGC commander says.

IRGC spokesman, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, said on Sunday that the crash took place shortly after a Mil Mi-17 helicopter, which belonged to the IRGC’s Aerospace Division and had been provided to the Khazar Exploration and Production Company (KEPCO) for its missions, was dispatched to an oil rig located 20 kilometers off the port city of Amirabad in the northern province of Mazandaran early in the day.

He added that the chopper was sent to the region to rescue a KEPCO employee who was suffering from a heart condition.

The commander said four IRGC staffers and the KEPCO employee lost their lives in the crash.

He noted that a search operation is underway for the aircraft's black box and added that officials are looking into the cause of the accident.