Police identify victims of Mpumalanga helicopter crash

25 April 2013 - 18:32 By Sapa
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Police on Thursday identified the four victims of the helicopter which crashed between Nelspruit and Lydenburg in Mpumalanga earlier this week.

The occupants were Nicholas More, 45, Lance Cooper, 45, Pierre de Villiers, 47, and Elsmarie Martins, 44.

Captain Leonard Hlathi said the helicopter was reported missing when it did not arrive in Gauteng.

"A police helicopter was launched and the wreckage was located by a cellphone signal of one of the victims," said Hlathi.

Paramedics declared all four occupants dead on the scene.

Police were investigating the cause of the crash, he said.

On Wednesday, it emerged that More was one of the owners of the Lion Sands game lodge in the Sabi Sand reserve.

More, who was also the chief executive of the game lodge, was piloting the helicopter when it crashed on Tuesday morning.

More's flight instructor Roger Mortlock said the Robinson R44 helicopter departed from Casterbridge in White River at 6.30am.

The helicopter wreckage was discovered on the Sondagskraal farm around noon.

It was suspected that heavy mist might have been a contributing factor in the crash, but this could not be confirmed.