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Crews search for missing helicopter in Peru

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:32 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A flyover reveals no sign of the missing aircraft
  • NEW: State media: The helicopter's 12 passengers were officials from a Korean company
  • Harsh weather conditions have complicated search efforts, police say
  • The helicopter went missing Wednesday in a remote, mountainous area

(CNN) -- After nearly a day of searching, rescuers in Peru had not spotted a helicopter that went missing in a region that boasts some of the country's most popular tourist destinations, state media reported Thursday evening.

The helicopter's 12 passengers were officials from a Korean company that was doing work in the jungle, the state-run Andina news agency said, citing Peru's trade and tourism minister. Two crew members were also onboard.

Officials lost contact with the chopper Wednesday in a remote area of the department of Cusco.

A Thursday afternoon flyover of the area where the helicopter went missing revealed no sign of the aircraft, Andina said.

Heavy fog and significant snowfall in the mountainous area where the helicopter went missing forced a rescue helicopter to turn back Thursday afternoon, said Gen. Hector Dulanto, chief of the police rescue operation.

Ground crews were searching for the helicopter and its passengers, braving harsh conditions with nearly a foot of snow on the ground and poor visibility, he said.

The Cusco department houses some of Peru's most popular tourist destinations, including Machu Picchu.

Journalist Maria Elena Bellaunde contributed to this report.

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