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Rescuers pull bodies of 2 crew from lagoon in Nigerian chopper crash, raising toll to 6 dead

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LAGOS, Nigeria — Rescuers pulled bodies of two crew members from the water Thursday, with an Oklahoma man among six killed when a helicopter flying from an offshore oil rig plunged into a lagoon in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos.

Marine police and fishermen calling for body bags raced to a dock Thursday and delivered the bodies of Capt. Joseph "Jay" Wyatt of Oklahoma and First Officer Peter Bello of Nigeria, according to the helicopter's owner, Bristow Group of Houston, Texas. A statement from the company did not give Wyatt's home town.

They were found in the submerged aircraft, said Onimode Bandela, coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency.

Four bodies were recovered Wednesday, officials said. The helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon on approach to Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport, according to Bristow.

Six people are hospitalized with injuries, said emergency agency spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye. All but Wyatt appear to be Nigerian.

"I saw smoke and then it fell down into the water. We were rushing and it was sinking. People were shouting for help," said Adedayo Hassan, a speedboat driver. "They were trapped in the chopper ... which was broken in pieces."

He and his friends dove in, broke the lever to open a door, cut survivors out of seat belts and pulled them out feet first.

Hassan said they motored back to shore and delivered the men to a hospital by taxi.


This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of the co-pilot's name and remove disputed claim that Bristow had no previous accidents in Nigeria in the past 50 years.

PHOTO: Emergency services bring ashore the recovered bodies of two crew members, after a helicopter flying from an offshore oil rig plunged Wednesday afternoon into a lagoon, in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. The two bodies recovered on Thursday from the submerged aircraft were those of Capt. Joseph "Jay" Wyatt of Oklahoma and First Officer Peter Bellow of Nigeria, according to the helicopter's owner, Bristow Group of Houston, Texas, and were among six killed when the helicopter crashed. (AP Photo/Caelainn Hogan)
Emergency services bring ashore the recovered bodies of two crew members, after a helicopter flying from an offshore oil rig plunged Wednesday afternoon into a lagoon, in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. The two bodies recovered on Thursday from the submerged aircraft were those of Capt. Joseph "Jay" Wyatt of Oklahoma and First Officer Peter Bellow of Nigeria, according to the helicopter's owner, Bristow Group of Houston, Texas, and were among six killed when the helicopter crashed. (AP Photo/Caelainn Hogan)

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PHOTO: Emergency services bring ashore the recovered bodies of two crew members, after a helicopter flying from an offshore oil rig plunged Wednesday afternoon into a lagoon, in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. The two bodies recovered on Thursday from the submerged aircraft were those of Capt. Joseph "Jay" Wyatt of Oklahoma and First Officer Peter Bellow of Nigeria, according to the helicopter's owner, Bristow Group of Houston, Texas, and were among six killed when the helicopter crashed. (AP Photo/Caelainn Hogan)
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