Ten missing after chopper disappears in northern Peru

Ten people are missing after a helicopter carrying passengers for the multinational Rio Tinto mining company disappeared on Tuesday in northern Peru. The Bell 412 B helicopter is owned by the Helinka-Evergreen company and was providing air transportation to Rio Tinto’s La Granja copper project, some 560 miles north of Lima in Cajamarca Department, to the coastal city of Chiclayo, capital of Lambayeque Department, daily El Comercio reported.

The control tower at the José Quiñones airport in Chiclayo reportedly lost contact with the chopper at about 10:40 a.m. The incident is being blamed on adverse weather in the highlands. The helicopter was carrying two pilots and eight passengers.

“Together with the police and the company, we have begun an active search and rescue system since the disappearance was reported,” said Col. Jorge Luis Briceño of the Peruvian Air Force.

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