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Three Burmese nationals were killed when a helicopter chartered by Malaysian energy firm Petronas crashed into the Andaman Sea after taking off from an offshore gas field, an official said on Tuesday.
The helicopter suffered engine trouble soon after leaving the southern Burma Yetagun field, which is operated by Petronas, the Burmese government official said.
Nine other passengers, including foreigners, were rescued but the official declined to give details of their condition.
Another official confirmed the crash and said a second helicopter was dispatched immediately to pick up survivors.
The US made Sikorsky S-76 helicopter was owned by French firm Heli-Union and hired by Petronas, Malaysia’s state oil and gas company, for its operations in southern Burma, the first official said.
The 56-year-old pilot was a retired Burmese Air Force lieutenant colonel.