8 killed in Indonesian helicopter crash as volcano erupts
(CNN) — Eight people died after a helicopter crashed in central Java, Indonesia, while on a rescue mission following a volcanic eruption.
The National Search and Rescue helicopter was en route to provide assistance when it crashed Sunday. All eight casualties were members of Indonesia’s emergency services, according to CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia.
More than a dozen tourists were visiting the Sileri Crater area when it erupted at about midday, shooting cold lava, mud and smoke up to 50 meters into the air, state news agency Antara News said.
Four of the visitors were injured, it said.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of public relations at Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, told Antara no one had been killed in the eruption itself but visitors were being ordered to clear the area. He said army, police and volunteers were all location to ensure the area to give assistance.
The Sileri Crater remains closed to the public and tourists following the eruption, which Antara said was caused by “gas pressure” below the surface.
Nugroho said the crater was one of Indonesia’s most active and last erupted in 2009.