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3 firefighters die in helicopter crash in western Turkey

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Turkish divers on Sunday found the bodies of three firefighters who died when their helicopter crashed into a reservoir near the western resort city of İzmir, Agence France-Presse reported.

The helicopter went down while picking up water to douse a forest fire on Saturday night.

The team included three Kyrgyz nationals and one Turk. One of the Kyrgyz firefighters was rescued and rushed to a hospital in good condition.

“We learned with sadness that the crew members on our helicopter, which crashed into the dam while responding to the forest fire … lost their lives,” local deputy mayor Erkan Özkan said.

Live television images showed rescue boats and divers attempting to recover the bodies and raise some of the debris.

Global warming caused by human-generated greenhouse gas emissions is changing weather patterns and contributing to a years-long drought across swathes of Turkey.

Turkey has funneled resources into its emergency response efforts after being gripped by devastating fires in 2021 that killed nine people and put political pressure on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan responded by pushing through Turkey’s delayed ratification of the Paris Climate Accords and investing in new firefighting planes and helicopters.

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