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(LEAD) 1 person dead in chopper crash in S. Korea

2016/01/30 16:51

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, throughout with updated information)

SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- One person died after a fire-fighting helicopter crashed near a temple on a mountain located in South Korea's southwest province, local firefighters said Saturday.

The chopper rented by North Jeolla Province for fighting forest fires crashed at around 2:58 p.m. near Geumsan Temple in Gimje, about 260 kilometers southwest of Seoul, according to them.

The accident took place while it was en route to the place where it was to begin its mission early next month.

The 61-year-old pilot, who was identified only by his last name, Kim, died in the crash. He was the only person on board.

The exact cause of the accident has not been confirmed but the area was reported to be foggy at the time of the accident. Firefighters and a rescue team were dispatched to the scene.