Bratislava: Eight people including seven Afghan migrants died earlier this week when a helicopter registered in Ukraine crashed in eastern Slovakia, the interior ministry in Bratislava said today, updating a previous toll.
Ministry spokesman Ivan Netik said the victims of the crash, which likely occurred overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, included a Ukrainian pilot and seven Afghans -- five men and two women.
"The Mi-2 helicopter registered in Ukraine flew too low in very poor meteorological conditions as it wanted to evade the air traffic control system," Netik said.
The helicopter crashed about 15 kilometres (10 miles) from the Slovak-Ukrainian border, which is an outer frontier of the European Union's passport-free Schengen area.
"It is likely that the helicopter was used by criminals to transport illegal migrants," the Ukrainian border guard said yesterday