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Airbus grounds Super Puma helicopters after 13 killed

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Airbus Helicopters said all commercial passenger flights of helicopters similar to the Super Puma that crashed off Norway on Friday have been suspended.

A H225 Super Puma ferrying passengers from a Norwegian oil platform crashed in the North Sea, likely killing all 13 people on board.

Britain and Norway said they were halting flights of the same type of helicopter, also known as the EC225LP.

Airbus Helicopters, a unit of Airbus Group, said the temporary ban extended to the whole fleet.

“Under these tragic circumstances, and until these elements are available, we are allied with the decision taken to put all commercial EC225LP passenger flights on hold,” the company said in a statement.

The helicopter went down around midday (local time) in the archipelago off the coast of Bergen, Norway’s second-biggest city.

Eleven bodies have been recovered and the two remaining people are presumed dead, rescue services said.Search and rescue operations were called off late Friday afternoon.

The aircraft was carrying 11 Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian, rescue services said.

The helicopter broke into pieces near a small island and parts of the wreck were found scattered on land and at sea.

Part of the helicopter was resting on the seabed under five to seven metres of water, around 20 metres from land.

The helicopter was returning from the Gullfaks B oil and gas platform, operated by Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil.

The area, just west of Bergen, has frequent helicopter traffic to and from offshore oil installations. Weather conditions on the day were normal.

Reuters/AFP

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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