Egypt: Several dead in Sinai helicopter crash

The helicopter was carrying members of a multinational peacekeeping force when it came down in the desert peninsula. Reports say citizens from the US, France and the Czech Republic are among the dead.

A helicopter belonging to a US-led international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt’s Sinai region on Thursday, killing seven people, including five Americans, officials said.

“There has been a helicopter crash and I have the information that there were seven killed: five of them are American, one is French and one is Czech,” an Israeli source was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

An Egyptian official cited by the Associated Press said the crash appeared to have been caused by a technical failure.

The crash involved the US-led Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) that was deployed to the desert peninsula following Egypt’s peace deal with Israel in 1979.  

According to its website, the MFO has 1,154 military personnel from the United States and 12 other countries covering an area of more than 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) in the Sinai. It is not linked to the United Nations.

Brad Lynch from the MFO said the mission was “actively investigating an incident involving one of our helicopters today,” without providing further details.