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Published: Monday, 1/5/2009

8 dead, 1 injured after helicopter crashes in Louisiana marsh

GIBSON, La. Authorities searched a southern Louisiana marsh by boat Monday for clues that might determine what caused a helicopter crash that killed eight people bound for an offshore oil platform.

The helicopter, operated by PHI Inc., crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after taking off, said Richard Rovinelli, a company spokesman. Two pilots and seven passengers were aboard when the helicopter went down in rural Terrebonne Parish, about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans. The passengers worked for two Shell Oil Co. contractors and the company said they were on their way to its Gulf of Mexico platform.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Jaclyn Young said the lone survivor was transported to a medical facility in suburban New Orleans, and was in critical condition Sunday night. There was no immediate update on condition available Monday.

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